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.

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.

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.

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.

Tracy Prowse

BSc (Physio)Hons. MPhil (Sports Physio). Post Grad Cert Pain Management.

Physiotherapist / Pain Practitioner

Tracy Prowse is a registered practising physiotherapist and a mindfulness teacher, with a master’s degree in Sports Physiotherapy, a postgraduate certification in pain treatment, as well as the Stellenbosch University postgraduate certification in Mindfulness-Based Interventions. Tracy uses an integrative and functional rehabilitative approach in order to facilitate a journey towards well-being. Her work and life inspiration lies in seeking to understand the human condition with reference to the body–mind complexity and to use her own journey of discovery to help seed a healthy notion of one’s self & body, through her input clinically and in the teaching space.

Tracy is based in Stellenbosch where she enjoys a balance of: working with those who are struggling with pain, fatigue and other chronic illnesses; teaching MBSR courses with her teaching partner, Ivo Visic, on Zoom; and enjoying the mountains, vineyards and the sea whenever she can! She also facilitates and assists in lecturing for Train Pain Academy on the post-grad Certificate of Pain Interventions three year programme.