The IMISA Board of Directors

Our board of directors is formed to maintain alignment with the core vision of IMISA, to ensure that whatever we do is in service of our purpose, and that we are orientated towards our community and the people who are interested in mindfulness in South Africa. Additionally the board of directors is here to establish financial viability for IMISA by managing resources and raising funds.

Janine Kirby

MBChB, DCH, DipObst, MFamMed, DipHom, MFHom

IMISA Chairperson | Family Practitioner

Janine is an integrative medical practitioner and mindfulness teacher based in East London. After graduating as a medical doctor, she obtained a Diploma in Child Health, a Diploma in Obstetrics and a Masters in Family Medicine. She worked in the public sector for many years before starting her own integrative medical practice and acquiring professional qualifications in Homeopathy. She has a passion for helping her patients understand the importance of the intimate connection between the body, thoughts and emotions in healing.

Janine enjoys teaching having facilitated both under- and post-graduate Family Medicine training. She has been teaching the 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme (MBSR) with psychologist Barbara Gerber since 2010.

Simon Whitesman


Medical Practitioner

Simon practices medical psychotherapy at Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town. He is the coordinator of the post-graduate certificate training in Mindfulness-Based Interventions at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

He is a director and past chairperson of the Institute for Mindfulness South Africa (IMISA) and co-directs the first Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme offered in South Africa. Simon has received certification as a teacher in MBSR from the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness and in psychoanalytic psychotherapy from the South African Institute for Psychotherapy.

Ashika Pillay


Wellness Practitioner | Coach

A medical doctor, Ashika has also spent many years as a health care executive in corporate. Having completed an MBA and a diploma in coaching, her passion is wellness from the inside out. She is drawn to the confluence of optimal performance, wellbeing and mindfulness as the source from which to develop and create mastery of self in the world. She is interested in synergising this with integrative and functional medicine in the future.

She has practiced meditation for many years and has just completed the certificate program in Mindfulness-Based Interventions at the University of Stellenbosch and is energized about exploring Mindfulness Based Interventions in the corporate and health sectors.

She is a proud mum to three boys 18, 15, and 9 and the wife of Thiru Pillay.

Luke Younge



Luke is a Mindfulness Instructor, Coach, Appreciative Inquiry Trainer and Filmmaker. He is currently training as a supervisor with Coaching Development London.

Luke has taught meditation, mindfulness and Buddhism since 2004. He is a consultant on the University of Stellenbosch Mindfulness certificate training and former consultant to the Samye Ling / University of Aberdeen Masters in Mindfulness. He has served as a director at IMISA since 2009 and is a fellow of Mindfulness Africa.

In his other life, he runs a media business that produces documentary films for television, NGOs and corporates. His work can be seen on BBC, Al Jazeera, SABC, eNCA and ETV.

Mbuyiselo Yanta

Facilitator | ORSC Coach

Mbuyiselo Yanta lives in one of Cape Town, South Africa’s largest townships, Khayelitsha. He is passionate about working with youth and supporting them in shifting their limiting mindsets. Mbuyi has completed an advanced Organisational Relationship Systems Coaching training in Systems Coaching as well as the Alchemy course – the Art and Science of Co-facilitation with CRR Global. He has also completed foundation training in African Family Constellations.

Mbuyi has completed a University-Based Certificate Training in Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) delivered by the Institute for Mindfulness South Africa, in collaboration with Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. He has also completed a fellowship in Organizational Innovation with DG Murray Trust.

Mbuyi has worked with numerous young people from Action Volunteers Africa, The Year Beyond Afterschool Gamechanger Programme, the Youth@Work programme of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Foundation and recently Project Codex. He is currently working at Next Step Coaching & Training as a Trainer and Facilitator, delivering various programs and supporting and mentoring young people from the townships in the Cape Town area.

Nevern Subermoney

MA Clin.Psych

Clinical Psychologist

Nevern is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Johannesburg. He has been to Vipassana meditation retreats and since then has devoted a lot of time to understanding mindfulness academically.

Nevern is currently busy with his PhD in psychology which looks at the links between person-centred therapy and Vipassana meditation.

Pete Milligan

MBChB, FCPsych


Pete is a psychiatrist who is based in northern KwaZulu-Natal where he is involved in the development of mental health services in underserved rural areas. He has an interest in public mental health and mindfulness-based interventions for mental illness and health care workers. He is affiliated to the University of KwaZulu-Natal Department of Psychiatry.

Pete spent 15 years working in rural primary health care and health service management in the Eastern Cape. He also worked at Lentegeur and Valkenberg hospitals and the University of Cape Town and has extensive experience with mindfulness-based therapies in the South African context.

He integrates his love for wilderness and mindfulness by leading mindfulness-based wilderness trails and retreats in various national parks.

Tessa Roos

MBChB, DMH, FCPsych, RCPsych


Tessa Roos is a psychiatrist living in Cape Town. She works as a medical specialist at Valkenberg Hospital, is a senior lecturer at the University of Cape Town department of psychiatry and consults privately at UCT Netcare Private Hospital. She qualified at UCT medical school in 2007 and has since then followed her passion for understanding the mind and treating its ailments holistically with a combination of biological, psychological and social interventions.

Tessa has completed the certificate program in Mindfulness-Based Interventions at the University of Stellenbosch. She is passionate about helping health professionals practice mindfulness in order to look after ourselves and our patients better.

Thobi Zulu

Mindfulness Facilitator

Thobi received her certificate in mindfulness-based interventions through Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in 2018.

Her interests and passions include introducing and teaching mindfulness and meditation practices to her immediate community, particularly black women thereby providing access to this life changing practice that has made an indelible mark in her own life.

She currently facilitates meditation groups in Vosloorus on the weekends at her father’s jazz club, with a intention to formalise a meditation centre in the township. She is also working on a series of recorded meditations that are inclusive of English and isiZulu.