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.

Simon Whitesman (MBChB)

IMISA Chairman | 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 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.

Craig Henen (M.A. Prof. Dev. Coaching)


Craig is an internationally accredited executive and supervising coach and facilitator specializing in Corporate Leadership and Executive Performance. He is the Managing Director of The EQ Institute and a partner in The Mindful Company. Craig has worked both locally and overseas over the last 14 years particularly in the fields of leadership and team development, mindfulness and emotional intelligence, individual and organizational change programmes.

Craig has a Masters in Professional Development from Middlesex University, UK; and he has trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at The Centre for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts.

Luke Younge BA(FA)


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.

Fathima Bux (M.Nutr.)


Fathima Bux is a Registered Dietician with a Masters in Nutrition and a Certificate in Mindfulness-Based Interventions through the Division of Family Medicine & Primary Care at Stellenbosch University. Fathima is also certified with the Institute of Functional Medicine. She has been in private practice for over 15 years, and practises from the Advanced Integrative Medical Centre in Houghton, Johannesburg.

Fathima runs mindfulness-based Corporate Wellness Programs, and has a special interest in the field of Mindful Leadership. She facilitates workshops and retreats in Mindful Eating.

Fathima has also conducted numerous radio and television interviews and has appeared on eTV, ITV and SABC. Fathima features on a health slot on ITV twice a week.

Janine Kirby (MBChB)

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.

Ashika Pillay (MBBCh, MBA)

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.

Julie Elliott (B.Sc.)

Coach | Facilitator

Julie Elliott is an ICF-credentialed coach, mindfulness teacher and facilitator. Besides personal coaching, she facilitates programs in team development, coaching skills for managers, mindfulness-based emotional intelligence and the Enneagram.

Julie has completed the Post-Graduate Certificate in Mindfulness-Based Interventions through the Faculty of Medicine at Stellenbosch University in collaboration with IMISA as well as the Mindful School’s Educator Essentials training. She teaches the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and ‘Living Mindfully’ programs’ with her business partner, Liz Witherspoon. Their company, Simplicity Coaching is based in Durban, KZN.