We are proud and excited to introduce you to three new members of the FGASA Executive Committee. All three new additions have extensive experience in South Africa’s tourism sector and years of experience in their guiding careers after gaining their qualifications with FGASA. 

We selected these members not only for their experience and involvement with FGASA, but also because of the immense value they bring to the organisation and its operations. We have supreme confidence that these new members will not only champion the interests of the guiding communities within their respective regions but make meaningful contributions to the progress and development of FGASA as an organisation. 

So without further ado, please extend a warm welcome to: 

Joslin Abrahams, a qualified FGASA Culture Guide (NQF4) with 22 years of experience. Joslin is based in the Western Cape and works closely with one of our endorsed mentors, assessors and facilitators, Louis Willemse. Joslin achieved her culture guide qualification with FGASA in 2002. Since then, her career and commitment to the Western Cape’s guiding community has grown from strength to strength. Joslin’s current career development goal is to become a FGASA endorsed Assessor for the Culture Guide (NQF4) qualification, further increasing the number of endorsed assessors within the FGASA stable and expanding FGASA within the Western Cape. However, her career commitment doesn’t stop there:  

I would like to play part in development opportunities for guides, promoting ethical standards, facilitating communication and collaboration, and fostering a strong sense of community engagement among guides.

Joslin’s commitment is clearly to the Western Cape’s guiding community, and we believe that as a member of the Executive Committee, she will not only achieve this but surpass it. Welcome Joslin, thank you for your support and dedication! 

Isaiah Banda embarked on his guiding career in 2006, qualifying through the Limpopo Field Guide Academy. With 18 years of experience in both guiding and reserve management, Isaiah couldn’t be better suited to representing the guides of his region and bringing their interests to the table. Isaiah now works in the Waterberg, a truly iconic wilderness landscape located on South Africa’s northern border with Botswana. Isaiah has several qualifications including his Nature Site Guide NQF2, lead Trails Guide and a qualification in Tourism Management. This positions Isaiah ideally a representative for the Waterberg region as both a champion for his guiding community and an informed voice on the development of tourism in the region. One of Isaiah’s goals for this year is obtaining his Nature Site Guide NQF4 qualification. Isaiah’s motives for joining the FGASA Executive Committee are well aligned to his goals as a guide and his guiding community: 

“I want to encourage guides to upgrade their qualifications to higher levels, I will set the example by upgrading mine before the end of 2024. There are a lot of people who want to become guides, but do not know where to begin, especially in many of the communities in my area. I will be that link to direct to them, and to provide that information. I want to arrange meetings with guides to listen to their challenges and see how we can best assist them in terms of studies and their career growth.” 

Isaiah’s dedication to his career and community is commendable and we are thrilled to have him on our Executive Committee where we know he will best serve his community. Not only this, but Isaiah also provides an excellent role-model to guides in the region and intends to work with them to address their challenges, bring those challenges to FGASA and work together with FGASA and the rest of the committee to mitigate and eliminate these challenges. Welcome Isaiah, we’re excited to work with you! 

Jonathan Wightman is an industry stalwart having first qualified as a guide in 1999. With over 20 years in the industry and counting, Jonathan has enjoyed a vibrant and successful career that has taken him across vast distances to many incredible natural landscapes. Jonathan has guided at many of South Africa’s premium reserves and lodges including Tswalu and Royal Malawane, this gives him vital knowledge and insight into the tourism, guiding and conservation industries. Jonathan is now based at Molori Safari Lodge in Madikwe Private Game Reserve, his role as General Manager there combines both his exceptional experience in hospitality and in the bush. Throughout his career, he has shown exemplary dedication and commitment having achieved his FGASA mentor status, SKS (DG) Trails Guide qualification, Professional Track & Sign, and a Tracker III qualification. In conjuction to these qualifications Jonathan also has additional qualifications in Human Resource Management, Business, and Law and Wildlife Management.  

“As a new member to the committee, I hope to add value through my many experiences. I have seen the industry change over the years and have seen the need for the development of a new, different and better quality of guide. I am hoping that I could have a positive influence in making that contribution to FGASA, and to the guiding fraternity!” 

His successful career, extensive knowledge and expertly honed skills make him an ideal addition to the FGASA Executive Committee. We have absolute faith that Jonathan will not only champion the interests of the guides within his region but also provide immeasurable value to the FGASA committee as its newest member.