Inspiring people to re-imagine their relationship to their world

About us

ABOUT US

Our Team

Our team are Indigenous peoples, nature guides, entrepreneurs, wisdom keepers, interspecies communicators, origin specialists, community leaders, creative consultants, artists, and master trackers.

Our advisors include South African and International anthropologists, scientists, ethno -botanists,  archealogists, peacemakers.

Mbali Marais

Founder

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Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa Mbali is a descendant of the Khoi Khoi peoples and the Amaghebe, Xhosa clan…

Kassie Naidoo

Creative Director

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Kassie Naidoo knew from a very young age that her passion in life was being creative, every day of her life. She drew and wrote poetry…

Craig Foster

Craig Foster is a multi media specialist and (together with his brother Damon Foster) has travelled extensively, living and working in remote villages and wilderness areas in ten African countries. For over twenty years their primary focus has been to tell stories with the voice of Africa herself, creating media experiences that enable a global audience to gain an intense and deep insight into the natural and cultural dynamics of this ancient continent. Their work celebrates Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and the universal themes of the relationship between man and nature.

Alwyn Myburgh

Alwyn Myburgh was born and raised among the red sand dunes of the Kalahari in South Africa. His earliest  childhood memories are of a time when he lived with the descendants of the San on the family ranch, walking and riding in the bush, learning about the animals. This way of knowing has given him the opportunity to share some of his knowledge over the years with hundreds of people, as a guide in Botswana. He is reminiscent of a Bushmen master tracker.

Isak Kruiper

Isak Kruiper is one of the last Khomani San Bushmen Doctors and master trackers. When Isak reads the tracks of an animal or insect we are not only enticed by Isak into the deep story of that animal but also the natural world and how it is all interconnected. He holds the knowledge  of the plants and medicines of the land. A gentle doctor and healer of integrity.

Lydia Kruiper

Lydia Kruiper holds the knowledge of plants and medicines along with her husband Isak. She is a master healer,  using a combination of deep seeing, touch, plants and medicines. They are both powerful healers and wisdom keepers that carry the stories of origin. They both lead programs at the veld school, for Khomani San Bushmen children in the Kalahari desert.

Leaders In Training

Angelique Michaels

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In 2016 I graduated with my BA majoring in Psychology and English Literature at Stellenbosch University and am presently completing my third year in Social Anthropology; a vocation I hope to wholeheartedly pursue in the years following my studies.
Preceding my enrolment at the university, I was granted the opportunity to be involved in an exchange program as an au pair in the Netherlands; an experience that has taught me a great deal about myself and inspired in me an avidity for travel and learning, a love for children and a deep appreciation for culture. Patient and open-minded with an interest in understanding the perspectives and hearts of others, I consider myself to be a keen listener with a socially oriented disposition. Through literary and aesthetic expression I wish to communicate my attraction to language, spirituality and mysticism and in so doing, I hope to inspire in the hearts of others a certain enchantment with life’s inherent magic.
The return to origin program’s intention of rekindling a harmonious relationship with and reverence for the land resonates with my hope of engaging consciously with the environment. I’d like most to learn from the spaces within which I may find myself and, in all pursuits and involvements, leave a bit of myself behind. Broadening my understanding of conservation and learning to work with and not against nature, I hope to proffer whatever capabilities I might have in service of communal growth and conscious development.

Arnoldt Michaels

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Arnoldt Michaels is also a trainee leader.  He is a young innovator finding his niche in the Cape Town youth travel and tourism industry. He has spent much of his youth traveling and exploring the coastal regions of South Africa, driven by a strong passion for the natural beauty of the land and all the diversity in culture to be found. Through this connection with the land and her people he was drawn to get involved in community and sustainability projects, for example Unjani Art House, kwaNokuthula Township, Plettenberg Bay, where he managed and facilitated artisans and artists in teaching their skills to the children of the community.

 “Nature lets me see what’s real and what’s important.  Everything works together in harmony by simply fulfilling its natural function. It’s true and authentic and in being true we open up to our own potential.”  

 He is now eager to find a way to combine his experience and love for travel and nature in such a way as to inspire young people to explore the incredible heritage of South Africa. For him travelling opens up a doorway to seeing an alternative perspective to life. It offers a glimpse into the lives of others and young people from all over the world, regardless of their background. This broadens their minds and breaks through the barriers that they had previously thought to be the only way of life. He believes that involvement with the Return to Origin project will offer him a platform to achieving this goal.

Lindsay Burch

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Lindsay Burch is our 1st Return To Origin trainee leader. From the time that I was 8 years old, I remember tossing a coin in a fountain at Disney World in Florida, and making a wish- to make the world a better place for all.

I always had opportunities granted to me, through my dad’s highly succesful construction company, and with that I dreamed to build 1 million homes for our nation. I went to the USA on a Golf scholarship. After 5 years of dedicated learning and training, my dreams were suddenly shattered. Unfortunately I had to return to assist in the closing of the family business. I put on a brave face so the family would not worry or see my hurt and pain, and I returned home.

Despite the major setbacks, I was determined to move forward and my passion for fitness and sport became the platform from which to become a qualified personal trainer, my goal was always to assist others in their fitness, health and well being.

Due to my concerns for the state of the environment and experiencing the awesome birth of my first born son, I chose to start a recycling business and give up my full time work as a personal trainer and golf coach. It was meaningful to me to leave a legacy that my son could one day be proud of.

Now as a trainee leader for Return to Origin, I am able to fully encompass my dream to assist others who may have been overlooked by society and guide them to reach their limitless potential. As a part of our great nation and being a father, I see the importance of the incredible heritage that this country has and the essential need to consiously preserve and protect it for our future generations.