UBuntu Bridge Speakers

Craig Makhosi Savage

CLThomas_121103_1726After studying psychology, philosophy and film studies at UCT in 2003, Craig immersed himself in a village in the Eastern Cape region known as Pondoland (emaMpondweni).  In the village, he worked as a servant (and thwasa – trainee Sangoma) for his host family, with chores including fetching water and collecting wood, to cleaning chicken coops and washing dishes, a contrasting dynamic to his experience as a Bishops boy and UCT alumni, but also with amaXhosa people so far in his life, coming from the privileged, white suburbs of Cape Town.  Craig believes that we have a huge empathy gap in South Africa, and that privileged people could learn a lot from living in traditional and urban communities with people, learning their language and cultural practices.

He also spent time volunteering in the townships of Cape Town and in the Life Orientation classroom at the Leap School Science and Maths, where his isiXhosa continued to expand.  It brought a balance to his attitude and awareness that he believes all South Africans could do with in order to bring harmony to our society.   It is where he developed his belief in the concept of Balanced Transformation, which would help negate the imbalances and inequalities in our society.




Makhosi promotes the notion of Balanced Transformation as a vital factor in humanity and society’s prosperous and sustainable future.  We cannot solve environmental and economic issues if we do not solve the breakdowns in human relations!  His philosophies emerged from his time living in rural villages, training to be a sangoma, time spent in townships and the benefits experienced from connecting authentically with African culture through the effort of language learning, especially as a white, male in SA!

Makhosi uses his edutaining videos, songs and performance to draw attention to important social dynamics affecting all levels of South African and global society today.  As a teacher, he empowers the audience with tools for self-awareness, growth, participation, communication and confidence.

Public Speaking:

Makhosi has facilitated and spoken at such prestigious events as the Thabo Mbeki Foundation’s Youth Leadership Camp 2013, The South African Principal Association’s Annual conference 2013, TedX Education 2012, The Africa Centre’s Talking Heads 2013, Sustainable Brands 2016, Black Sash 60th Anniversary 2016,  as well as being speaker for many companies (Old Mutual, GenRe, Media24), government departments, social organisations and schools.  All proceeds are as donations to the UBuntu Bridge Non-Profit Organisation.

Watch the Ted Talk:

I watched your TEDxED video again last night – INSPIRATIONAL stuff. Thanks again for putting in so much effort. Of the 60 audience feedback forms I’ve got most rated your as their top favourite. Well done!  Terence Themba Berry – TedX Education Organiser

Craig was a brilliant speaker, who totally captivated the audience. His passion was contagious. When the audience participated in vocalising the three xhosa clicks, they were totally engaged. Fantastic. Dave Cotton – Pecha Kucha



Feedback from Makhosi’s presentations:

Craig, your contribution to the programme was simply stunning and I only wish we had more time to do justice to your input.  Just watching their body language as you spoke – from the heart – conveyed to me their interest – you came over exceptionally well.  With warm regards. Trevor Wilkins, Organizer – Rotary Ambassadorial Orientation

Your presentation at TEDx – other than being engaging and powerful – was personally encouraging to me and gave me some good quotes and evidence to continue the promotion of Xhosa teaching at our school – as with CAPS next year this could be an optional extra at primary school level. Colleen Moore – School Teacher

Craig’s work in encouraging South Africans to understand how important it is to speak another’s language is absolutely compelling and the programmes he runs to promote the development of language skills, especially amongst white South Africans, is absolutely remarkable.  Craig is a very inspiring young South African, whose work needs to be promoted through the length and breadth of South Africa. A Testimonial from Prof. Tim Noakes, after the TedX Talk

The stories you shared with the group about your journey with African traditional medicine were captivating and inspiring.  Thank you!” Stewart Chirova – Academic Director, SIT: Multiculturalism and Human Rights

Yhu! Enkosi kakhulu! Craig, that was terrific! I am only sorry you weren’t a fly on the wall in my lesson after to hear the boys bubbling over. You made a massive impression – all positive too! You have extended your fan base and really made these boys think and feel. They are all adamant that you should be a permanent fixture on the Gr 7 school calendar – a compliment indeed!” Lisa Harris – Head of isiXhosa WPPS

Thank you SO much for coming in- your talk was inspiring, thought-provoking and so well received by everyone. It sparked a lot of interest and really got people thinking and talking.  Some feedback from the group:

It inspired me and really opened my eyes. I learnt a lot.

Inspiring, intelligent, ingenious.  People took to it incredibly well.Nina Bloch – Westerford High

Hey, you are a definite hit… – and trust me, there is no more sincere and honest flattery than that from 13-year-olds when it is spontaneous!  You pitched your talk perfectly and had something in it to appeal to each of the boys at a variety of levels. Most of all, your enthusiasm, knowledge, humour and genuine engagement has inspired the boys. (Gives me hope for the future of SA!) Unquestionably, the vids help.” Lisa Harris – Western Province Prep School

Charismatic, talented and doing something really important, Craig should be working in every school in the country!” Georgina Stirrup – Accelerate Cape Town

Craig it was an awesome presentation, the boys are still talking about it and I truly believe you motivated some guys to do something about learning an African language.”  Tim Stirrup – Head of Lingua Franca society, Bishop


Book Makhosi to speak:

Book Craig ‘Makhosi’ Savage for their edutaining, insightful and inspirational talks and workshops about why we should be engaging more meaningfully and consciously with vernacular language learning and traditional communities.

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