About Jill Ritchie
I have written 27 books and edited seven. I am a mother, grandmother, vegetarian, butterfly lover and writer with more book ideas than I am likely to live to see in print.
Despite my world of work having been in the not-for-profit sector for over thirty years, I have never let up on my voluntary commitments. For instance, I was active in humanitarian aspects of the anti-apartheid movement – caring for family members of Robben Island prisoners. Together with the late Father Basil van Rensburg, in the 1980s and early 1990s, I drove initiatives to enable South Africans – black and white – to meet – not has master and servant/employer and employee – but as people, as South Africans – to overcome fear and mistrust – to change hearts and minds – in preparation on the ground – for the end of the evil of apartheid. Aside from serving on non-profit boards, I continue to give of my time voluntarily for causes close to my heart.
I am an active trainer and public speaker (having attained the highest possible level within Toastmasters International).
I am an ‘ideas person’, regularly overwhelming my team with innovative concepts that they are required to assist in implementing. I was a social entrepreneur before the term was coined. My philosophy in my career has always been: ‘doing business while doing good.’ My passions are travel (have been to over 40 countries and counting), reading and history, with a special interest in the Second World War.
- Business Management Diploma – Stellenbosch University Business School (where I also teach a few times a year)
- International Diploma in Teaching and Training – London City and Guilds (Distinction)
- Certificate – Mentoring – Stellenbosch University Business School
- Certificate – Public Relations – Damelin Management School (First Class Pass)
- Certificate – Fundraising Training – Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising
- Two decades as a Black Sash volunteer (white women in South Africa opposing apartheid)
- Arranged charity event for opening night of first Planet Hollywood Restaurant in Africa
- Exceeded fundraising target to save penguins when oil tanker Treasure sank off Cape Town, endangering 40 000 African penguins and other seabirds (biggest animal rescue since Noah)
- Setting up and substantially growing a London based Network of organisations supporting their sister entities in southern Africa – now thriving over a decade later
- Talking to Nelson Mandela – 12 times
- My investment into the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem
- Being mugged and stranded in New York (with three children) and no taxi fare to the airport to fly home – and being lent money by a stranger – a black South African – during the apartheid era
- Raising the money to mount the first full scale black opera in South Africa
- Being asked to stand for political office by three separate parties in 1994, for South Africa’s first democratic election – and declining them all
- Attending a service in the Cathedral and also the War Cemetery, in Bayeux, Normandy, France, the first town to be liberated, on 6 June, 2019 – exactly 75 years after the D-Day Landings. Read More