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Our Team

Leon Geffen - Executive Director.

Leon is a family doctor, based in Cape Town and is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Ageing in Africa, at University of Cape Town. He is currently a fellow of interRAI and has served as the medical director of AgeWell. He has worked with many community-based organisations in the Western Cape focusing on the needs of older persons. He has worked with the Department of Health in developing a public private partnership for the delivery of primary care services to older persons and has participated in many international and local conferences on ageing.

Gabrielle Kelly - Senior Research Associate

Gabby is a health researcher with a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cape Town, an MPhil in Social Research Methods from Stellenbosch University, and a bachelor’s degree in politics and economics from UCT. Prior to joining SIFAR, Gabrielle was a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Social Science Research at UCT. She has also worked as a research associate in the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health and spent a year as a Fox International Fellow at Yale’s MacMillan Centre for International and Area Studies. Her research interests include health and social policy, health systems, disability, ageing and programme evaluation.

Lindeka Mrengqwa – Research Associate

Lindeka Mrengqwa completed her BA degree in Linguistics, Psychology and Social Science and her Honours in Anthropology at the University of the Western Cape. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology. She is passionate about health issues affecting under-privileged groups and hopes to one day pursue a PhD in Medical Anthropology. Prior to joining SIFAR she worked at the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) based in Johannesburg and for the Anthropology department at the University of the Western Cape. She currently lives in Khayelitsha.

Robyn Black - Research Associate: Training and Development

Robyn graduated as an Occupational Therapist in 2002 (UCT). After completing her community service year, she moved to London, where through working in the NHS, she developed specialist skills in ‘Care of the Elderly’. Upon her return to Cape Town in 2012, Robyn set up a private OT practice. Robyn’s current work interests are varied. She assesses and treats older people in their own home and educates and treats patients who have undergone shoulder surgery post-operatively. Robyn has been involved in pioneering the use of the interRAI assessment tools in South Africa and has also been involved in training with the AgeWell assessors. Through SIFAR, Robyn has been working closely with an IT developer to create the interRAI assessment software programme that is being used for data collection and analysis for the interRAI Primary Care Instrument Project. Robyn is involved in the training and support of interRAI assessors, and subsequent data analysis.

Leo Mapira - Research Associate

Leo is originally from Zimbabwe and moved to Cape Town in 2005. He is a development sociologist with a passion for engaged scholarship, applied research and programme planning. Leo has served in various research positions and as teaching assistant at the University of Cape Town, as well as in the development and corporate sectors as Researcher. Leo holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Sociology qualifications from the University of Cape Town (UCT); and he is a Doctoral candidate in Industrial Sociology at UCT. Furthermore, Leo has also completed professional training in Programme Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Lulamile Mabe – Research Intern

Lulamile was born and raised in Maclear, Eastern Cape. He moved to Cape Town in 2009 to pursue his career in electrical engineering. While he was studying electrical engineering, he discovered his passion for social science. He went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Anthropology and Women and Gender studies at the University of the Western Cape. In the future, he aims to pursue an honours degree in research psychology. Lulamile is passionate about making a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate. Before joining SIFAR he worked at Capital Growth as a trainee.

Nosibusiso Tshetu – Research Intern

Nosibusiso obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Ethics and Women's and Gender Studies from the University of the Western Cape. She is passionate about community development and sees herself actively participating in projects that seek to bring about change globally. A passion which she says grew stronger while working at the Department of Social Development before joining SIFAR.

Alison Benzimra - Research Associate

Having worked in senior wellness for several years, Alison pursued her MPhil in Inclusive Innovation at UCT Graduate School of Business. Her research focused on health, wealth and well-being in retirement. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology and history. Alison believes that with longevity now an accepted fact, greater emphasis needs to be placed on healthy life expectancy over life expectancy. Her research and writing focus on South Africa’s growing ageing population, developing long-term care and support models and creating an environment that is ripe for collaboration and innovation across sectors and industries.

Duane Booysen – Research Associate

Duane Booysen is a clinical psychologist and social science researcher. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a MA in Psychology (Research) from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University; he also obtained MA in Clinical Psychology and Community Counselling from Stellenbosch University. He completed his practical training in the University of Cape Town Clinical Psychology Internship programme (Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital). His research interests range from the effectiveness of psychological interventions for common psychopathology, epistemology of psychology, public mental health to psycho-geriatrics. He is currently enrolled for his PhD at Stellenbosch University and is a part time consultant to SIFAR.