Ivan Franklin Vaalbooi

Indigenous Fellow: South Africa

Hailing from the Southern Kalahari in the Northern Cape, South Africa, Ivan belongs to one of the oldest ethnic groups, the ‡Khomani San. He was born 1988 in Aroab, Namibia. He matriculated in 2006 in a small town known as Rietfontein. The town is situated on the Namiba and South African border. He came to the Western Cape in 2008 in search of new study opportunities and started as a student at !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre.

After completing his training, he started working as an assistant to trainers and junior nature and culture tourist guide. Since then he has successfully completed three NQF level 4 qualifications, respectively in Nature guiding (Fynbos and Succulent Karoo), Rock art guiding (Cederberg Region) and Generic Management. Due to his keen interest in youth development and preservation of the culture and nature related matters he later on became the Assistant Training Manager at !Khwa ttu, where he trained several groups of San youth from South Africa, Namibia and Botswana in culture and nature guiding. He also formed part of the team to help ensure that the training programmes of the centre became accredited. Ivan resides temporarily in Vredehoek, Cape Town, South Africa.

He is currently completing a National Diploma in Public Management, whilst working for Natural Justice (an NGO working to supporting the rights of indigenous people) where he has been working very closely on issues surrounding the land claim of the ‡Khomani, as well as providing logistical support for National KhoiSan Council and ABS related cases on various plants species.