Marike Herselman


Where are you from and what do you do?

I am South African, born in the Karoo and brought up in the Boland. I moved to Cape Town in 2002 to study photography at Ruth Prowse School of Art and have since then worked in Cape Town as a photographer specialising in portrait photography.  I have started my own business 3 years ago and absolutely love what I do.

How did you get in touch with CTO?

Frida from Project Playground introduced me to Mapanya. I offer my services to one NGO a month and she thought CTO would be very suitable for this. After I met Mapanya and Sofia, I was very inspired by them and became excited about working with CTO; this is how our collaboration began.

In what way do you promote CTO?

Well, I usually offer portraits to an NGO but Sofia mentioned that they really needed a promotional video. As my forte is portraiture, the video moved more into that direction. It was amazing to meet all the people involved in the different projects while we are shooting and we are all very pleased with the end result which you can watch on CTO’s home page.

What do you think is most important for children and youth in the townships?

Most of the time this question is answered with: education. Of course that is very important, but I also think that guidance and good role models are essential. Young adults that don’t have positive guidance would not be able to make full use of opportunities or resources that they receive. So many South Africans grow up without parents and in that case: who is there to give them the structure that is needed to step into the big world?




Tell us about yourself

Hi, I am Dutch, but I left the Netherlands 15 years ago. I spent 6 years living in London and 9 years in the South of Spain. During this time I worked as a software developer. Since 2016 I live on a sailboat, together with my husband and our dog, and I am self-employed, providing various content and translation services, while we sail around the Mediterranean.

How did you get in touch with CTO?

Hannes (Rosén, board member of CTO North) and I worked at the same company for a year or so. After we had both left the company, we stayed in touch via Facebook and one day I read about his involvement with CTO. As my husband is South African, I have a special interest in South Africa and therefore I asked Hannes if I could be of any assistance to CTO, even though I am not based in Sweden or South Africa. Luckily - thanks to modern technology - geographical location was no barrier at all for cooperation and it didn’t take long before Hannes took me up on my offer and introduced me to Sofia.

How do you promote CTO?

I help with the structure and the content of the website and I have written most of the blogs. Since a few weeks, I am also creating Facebook and Instagram posts for CTO. Apart from that, I help with proofreading English texts that are used in brochures or other promotional material and I help with researching relevant information. 

Have you visited South Africa and/or the townships yourself? If so, what was your impression?

I have visited South Africa a few times but mostly these were family visits or meetings with friends, mainly in the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga. So I can’t say that I have any personal experience with the townships. What I can say, is that in general I have found South Africans incredibly friendly and cheerful. The country has moved on from its difficult history and you can find a real vibe of optimism and opportunities. I believe that organisations like CTO are key to creating equality for all South Africans, so that these opportunities will benefit the entire population.