Already a member? Click here to log in Click here to login
become a member join today, it's free
Nigel Branken

status

their rank

1581

overall

38

in their country

8

in their city

207

in their industry

1

in their company

their badges

Pioneer
Networker
Associate (Silver)
Accomplished (Gold)
Scholar
Philanthropist (Gold)
Complete
Allrounder
Veteran
Workaholic
Academic
Achiever
Athlete
Brainiac
Celebrity
Champion
Connector
Enthusiast
Influencer
Leader
Newsmaker
Promoter
Roamer
Tomorrow's Leader Nominee 2013
Tomorrow's Leader Nominee 2014
Tomorrow's Leader Nominee 2015

More details on our ranking system

What is your professional reputation? Click here to register and find out.

Post your Who's Who profile on your website or your blog with our handy profile sharing widget →


Nigel Branken

Becoming the change I want to see in the world


Currently resides in: Gauteng, South Africa

Born in Bulawayo Zimbabwe

Nigel and Trish Branken, together with their 6 children left their six bedroom home in a gated community in Midrand to move to the notorious inner-city suburb, Hillbrow, in Johannesburg, South Africa where they have now lived since May 2012 in a 3 bedroom apartment. As they stand in solidarity with those facing extreme poverty, Nigel says, “What we focus on is primarily becoming friends to our neighbors and then trying to become good neighbors to our friends and the question we keep asking is - What is a good neighbor?"

"This can look very different every day. On some days it is helping out some children with homework, on another day it is visiting homeless friends and sharing a meal with them or on another day it can be some non-violent protest about an issue affecting my friends." The journey for the Branken family began about 5 years ago when they started questioning the meaning of their faith in Christ and whether it was producing any long term effectiveness into the lives of those around them. As they studied and reflected on the sermon on the mount and other teachings of Jesus, they realized that their Christianity looked very little like the counter-culture radical Christianity Jesus proclaimed and called them to live. Nigel say "We decided to begin to do life in a new way and to "become the change we want to see in the world". We decided that moving into Hillbrow and becoming a sign of God's kingdom of hope was the most authentic way to challenge the god's of consumerism, materialism, racism, and individualism that ravage South Africa and many other parts of the world.

Contact details

M: 0833412385


Web presence

Business Address

22 Kapteijn Street, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2001


Professional Portfolios

View all portfolios→


Reflections on a tragic week

in Developing theology

Reflections on June 16 1976

in Developing theology

Professional details

Current Position(s)

Founder and Executive Director | Transform
Johannesburg, South Africa | 2010 - present

Social Development and Community Services

We want to see a world in which the rich do not tolerate extreme poverty and inequality. We want to see many people actually laying down their lives of comfort and convenience for the sake of bettering the lives of others. Seeing people freed from poverty, inequality, racism and exploitation is more important than fulfilling our lust for more things! We want to be part of a society in which people are valued more than things. We want to see the god of consumerism in South Africa bowing it’s knee to a love motivated revolution which results in freedom from oppression and exploitation. We want to see this for all people, regardless of class, citizenship, race or religion.We dream of equality in every sector of society. We believe that if the education system is not OK for a rich kid, it is not OK for a poor kid. The same goes with healthcare, housing, security. The same goes for rural kids and inner city kids. The same for black kids and white kids. We are not more valuable than the least valued in our society. We are doing our lives in a new way. We are going to live our dream and see this reality briefly described above happening around us. We hope others will join us and this will happen around them too. Who knows, very soon, the world can be a different place!


Project Manager: Operationalization: Wits Junction | University of the Witwatersrand
2009 - present

Academia, Education and Training


Social Justice and Management Consultant | Self Employed
1998 - present

Consulting and Project Management


Previous Position(s)

Acting Deputy Chief of Party | The Louis Berger Group
2008 - 2009

Building, Construction and Engineering


Democracy and Governance Programme Manager | Louis Berger Group
2006 - 2008

Building, Construction and Engineering

Working on USAID programme entitled: Increasing Sustainable Local Government Service Delivery.


Juvenile Justice Consultant | UNICEF, Iran
2005 - 2006

Government, Public Administration and Defence

Responsibilities included project management, assessment, curriculum development, training manual development, training, and advocacy


Project Management and Leadership Building | Louis Berger Group
2005 - 2006

Government, Public Administration and Defence

Responsible for managing the set up of LBG in South Africa.



Project Manager | Team Management Solutions
2002 - 2005

Consulting and Project Management

Project Management to various clients including:
- MVULA Trust - Drafting of Policy Paper on the Role of Civil Society in Local Government for the South African Local Government Association (SALGA)
- Department of Sport and Recreation - Project Managed the following programmes:
* Building for Sport (Building sports facilities in underprivaledged communities)
* Community Mass Participation programme
* School sport programme


Institutional Support Consultant | Construction Industry Development Board
2002 - 2003

Consulting and Project Management

Responsibilities included: general institutional support in the set up of the CIDB including: project management, setup and procurement of systems (HR, IT, financial, management, office furniture and equipment, etc.) backstop support, managing office building and renovations, budget review and cash flow analysis


Juvenile Justice and Restorative Justice Consultant | Unicef, Bangladesh
2002 - 2002

Government, Public Administration and Defence

Responsibilities included project management, a situational assessment report, curriculum development, training manual development, training, and advocacy with senior government officials. Worked with the Director General of the Office of the President, among other officials.


Juvenile Justice Consultant | UNICEF
2002 - 2012

Child Rights and Juvenile Justice Consultant | UNICEF, East Timor
2001 - 2001

Government, Public Administration and Defence

Responsibilities for his work for UNICEF in East Timor included project management, a situational assessment report, curriculum development, training manual development, conduct of training, advocacy with senior UN officials (including the Special Representative of the Secretary General), and policy development.


Executive Director (and Founder) | Restorative Justice Centre
Pretoria, South Africa | 1998 - 2001

Social Development and Community Services

As founder and first executive director of RJC, responsibilities included: organizational strategic leadership, business setup and development, personnel management, financial management, administration management as well as managing pilot projects. In addition, one of his key projects was the support to emerging NGOs, including the development of an NGO toolkit for the setup and management of NGOs. He also provided consulting support in the set up of 3 trauma clinics in the Gauteng area.


Provincial Diversion Manager | Nicro
1996 - 1999

Consulting and Project Management


Provincial Programme Manager: Diversion | National Institute for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of Offenders
1996 - 1998

Responsible for project management, monitoring and evaluation of programs, personnel development, program development, training, fundraising and the budget, setup of projects, material development, senior stakeholder liaison.

Educational history

Secondary

Glenwood Boys High School, Durban, South Africa (1989)

Tertiary

Stirling Theological College

Melbourne, Australia | 2013 - present

Master of Arts (Theology) - Theology

Studying how to work into urban areas, urban transformation, etc.

University of KwaZulu-Natal

1989 - 1993

Bachelor of Social Science (Social Work Hons.) - Social Work

Achievements

Awards

Inspired Individuals Programme | 2013

The inspired individuals initiative seeks to identify, support and resource social entrepreneurs - change agents whose unique vision has the potential to transform the lives of millions living in poverty.

media exposure

USA Today | 2013

One large hand-lettered poster-sized memorial read: "We live differently because of you. You restored our humanity and taught us how to respect each other.'' It was signed, "The Branken Family.''

De Telegraaf | 2013

Comments on Nelson Mandela on his passing by Nigel Branken

IOL | 2013

Nigel Branken expresses his disappointment at the poor organisation of the Nelson Mandela memorial at the FNB Stadium.

France24 | 2013

Flooding in Sudan, race relations in South Africa, violence in Bangui, and more... This show is made up entirely of amateur images. We've seen time and time again how images captured by ordinary citizens then uploaded onto the Web can change history, or at least shift the balance of power. This week, we take a look back at some of those moments.

France24 | 2013

Flooding in Sudan, race relations in South Africa, violence in Bangui, and more...


This show is made up entirely of amateur images. We've seen time and time again how images captured by ordinary citizens then uploaded onto the Web can change history, or at least shift the balance of power. This week, we take a look back at some of those moments.

The Star | 2013

Column: We hide behind cultural walls

South Africa - The Good News | 2013

Recently The Daily Maverick ran a story about a white Christian family who have decided to forgo their comfortable middle class Midrand home in favour of a flat in the heart of one of the most fearsome areas of our country - Hillbrow.

Oprah Magazine | 2013

In the Heart of Hillbrow
A family shares the sights and sounds that
make Joburg’s gritty inner city the place
they happily call home. By Norma Young

Frequency | 2013

Volunteer opportunities at our learning centre

Scratch | 2012

It took Nigel and Trish Branken years of thought, prayer, planning and unlearning of bad habits to get to a much simpler life

Supersport | 2010

Nigel Branken, walking with his family to the stadium on busy streets lined with stalls, said the country still faces huge problems of inequality and said he hopes they can maintain their new-found spirit once the tournament ends.

Harvest in our slums | 2013

Scott Bessenecker's blog on poverty, community, justice and how to activate the economics of the Kingdom of God on earth

Rick's Rave | 2013

Nigel Branken is a wealthy white man who responded to God’s call to live among the poor of Hillbrow in Johannesburg with his wife, Trish, and four small children. That’s him with me in the picture above. Slowly Nigel and Trish and the kids are bringing the light of the transforming love of Christ into a very dark part of the city. He broke down in tears when he realised that there were others in the world who cared about the urban poor the way he does. He thought he was the only one, because so few South African Christians take this aspect of the gospel message seriously.

VNC | 2013

By Logan Sachon Nigel Branken lives in Johannesburg in South Africa and employs a domestic worker. In this blog post, he explains how he came to pay this woman a living wage

Plan Be | 2013

Nigel and Trish Branken took their children and moved into a dangerous neighbourhood to teach them how to embrace the world with God’s love

IOL | 2010

Social worker Nigel Branken, walking with his family to the stadium on busy streets lined with stalls, said the country still faced huge problems of inequality and said he hoped they could maintain their new-found spirit once the tournament ended.

Common Good | 2013

“How We Came To Pay A Living Wage” by Nigel Branken

Helsingin Sanomat | 2013

News report on participation at the nObama march.

The Leaders table | 2013

These responses are from a number of experienced leaders. Follow the links to find out more about the different contributors.

Unicef | 2010

Top officials from different sectors, including judges, legal experts, police and members of the State Welfare Organization gathered in Orumiyeh this week to discuss juvenile justice in Iran.

Vox Nova | 2013

The right to a just wage, or a living wage, is one of the cornerstones of Catholic social teaching. Blessed John XXIII probably put it best when he said that “the remuneration of work is not something that can be left to the laws of the marketplace; nor should it be a decision left to the will of the more powerful. It must be determined in accordance with justice and equity; which means that workers must be paid a wage which allows them to live a truly human life and to fulfill their family obligations in a worthy manner.”

Billfold | 2013

What to Pay a Domestic Worker in Johannesburg
by Logan Sachon September 3rd, 2013
Nigel Branken lives in Johannesburg in South Africa and employs a domestic worker.

Never Give Up | 2013

As we were heading out to dinner last night, our host told us in a simple and loving voice “oh, just take enough money with you for dinner, you never know.. we might get held up.” A gentle smile and we followed him out the door of a high rise structure that can be called “an apartment complex” where the tenants that live here have to go through thumb print clearance in order to just get into the building through the thick gates and security guards with batons. Such a statement is simple for Nigel Branken to say because he probably thinks this every time he leaves his apartment knowing that several times he was held up by men with guns and robbed just around the block where he, his wife Trish and six children (including a new born) live.

Jozi today | 2013

Jozi Today :30 Jul 2013: Gillian Godsell (@gilliangodsell) and @mamelodi4amonth @EcoFreeCharter @DazMSmith @Nigel_Branken.
Another Johannesburg with Cedric de la Harpe; Rachel Branken; Nigel Branken; Hannah Branken; Darren Smith; Julian Hewitt.

Rapport | 2013

They have never Johannes Kerkorrel's "Gee jou hart vir Hillbrow", but Nigel and Trish Branken do exactly what the song says and make their hearts open to this notorious and dilapidated neighborhood in downtown Johannesburg.

Mamelodi for a month | 2013

“Why only a month?” was Nigel Branken’s first question. It was probably meant to throw us off guard and it had the desired effect. His question was quite a contrast to our often fielded enquiry of why a month in the first place.

Seeds of Hope | 2013

Nigel and Trish Branken live with their family in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, an inner city suburb known for its high levels of population density, unemployment, poverty and crime.

The South African | 2013

Why a white family moved to Hillbrow, Joburg’s most feared suburb. The Brankens, a white family, has recently moved to Hillbrow, Joburg’s most feared suburb. What can we learn from them?

Common Change | 2013

Nigel Branken lets us into the personal journey he has traveled as he has wrestled with what it means to be responsible towards, and non-exploitative of, those who work for him. In his article ”How we came to pay a living

Irresistibly Fish | 2013

How to raise your children as world changers: Meet Nigel and Trish Branken and their family

Transform | 2013

Blogging the story of Nigel and Trish Branken's move

Carte Blanche | 2013

Carte Blanche: Nigel's Hillbrow (Part 2)
So what made Nigel and Trish and their five young children want to leave leafy suburbia for this concrete melting pot? Carte Blanche finds out

Carte Blanche | 2013

Carte Blanche: Nigel's Hillbrow (Part 1)
Older generations romanticise about when they used to live in hip Hillbrow. But crime and grime have seen the more affluent seek sanctuary in the suburbs

WHAM Media | 2013

Nigel Branken talks to Gillian Godsell about living in Hillbrow.

France24 | 2013

From the cozy suburbs to Johannesburg’s most feared neighbourhood

Daily Maverick | 2013

The Daily Maverick visits a white, Christian family who moved into the centre of white fear: Hillbrow in downtown Johannesburg. JESSICA EATON finds out why. (Photos by THAPELO LEKGOWA)

Activities

Memberships

Transform

Executive Director, January 2012 - present

We are a rather ordinary family doing some extraordinary things. We believe as Christians that God is extremely concerned with the brokeness in our city and nation and that He has called each one of us to get involved in making a difference. To bring change, we need to see the future, prepare for the future and then become the future… or in the words of Ghandi “we must become the change we want to see in the world”.

South African Council for Social Service Professions

Registered Social Worker, 1992 - present

Professional association

International Society for Urban Mission

Member, 2013 - present

The International Society for Urban Mission was formed to help Christians come together to face the unique challenges rising urban poverty pose to Christian faith and mission. ISUM’s purpose is to be a fellowship of urban Christians committed to seeking God’s Shalom in cities, especially Majority World cities, through active reflection, solidarity and leadership development. Activities include: ‘New Urban World’ journal; ISUM Summit for Urban Mission; Sharing resources, training and research; Urban Learning Exchanges. Please join the conversation!

New Covenant Church Bryanston

Member, 2010 - present

Local church that we are part of as a family

community

Botshabelo

Board member and Volunteer, 2010 - 2011

Botshabelo is based in Midrand, South Africa and is situated on the 20 acre property of 64 on Main, where the Childrens Home, Early Childhood Development program and offices are located. This base serves as the center of excellence providing critical support and resources for our work into the surrounding communities and the community of Olievenhoutbosch. Our Early Childhood Development Progamme aims at providing excellent quality education for children no matter their socio-economic status as well as a solid foundation for further schooling. This program consists of the Urban Kids preschool and the teacher-training program.

Amnesty International

Volunteer, 1995 - 1997

Worked on various campaigns and helped start the South Africa office

UNICEF Iran

Child Rights Consultatn, 2005 - 2006

Development of curriculum, training,and capacity building for all juvenile justice stakeholders

Crossroads Church International

Pastor, 2003 - 2005

Founder and pastor of Crossroads Church International (now called Highway Church)

UNICEF Bangladesh

Juvenile Justice and Restorative Justice Consultant, 2002 - 2002

Conduction situational analysis and training to police, judges, correctional officials and other stakeholders working with children in conflict with the law.

UNICEF Bangladesh

Juvenile Justice and Restorative Justice Consultant, 2002 - 2002

Conduction situational analysis and training to police, judges, correctional officials and other stakeholders working with children in conflict with the law.

Unicef East Timor

Juvenile Justice Consultant, 2001 - 2001

Developed a training manual for police

Restorative Justice Centre

Founder and Executive Director, 1998 - 2001

Restorative Justice Centre (RJC) is a champion of restorative justice practices and an important provider of restorative justice services in South Africa.

Pinetown Child Welfare

Social Worker, 1993 - 1996

Child welfare organisation

Transform

Executive Director, January 2012 - present

We are a rather ordinary family doing some extraordinary things. We believe as Christians that God is extremely concerned with the brokeness in our city and nation and that He has called each one of us to get involved in making a difference. To bring change, we need to see the future, prepare for the future and then become the future… or in the words of Ghandi “we must become the change we want to see in the world”.

Incorrect information? to report this profile.

Earn your Status

Join Who's Who and earn badges while our ranking system tracks your professional progress:

who's who Statistics

325002 Active profiles
77088 Profile views this week
119 New profiles this week
4 Achieved Who's Who Status this week

You need to be registered and signed in to network with this member.

Sign InRegister

Join Now