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About redAcademy

Powered by specialist enterprise retail software developers, redPanda Software, redAcademy is a stand-alone organisation with a clear goal: give carefully chosen, talented South Africans the opportunity to sprint into their IT careers by working closely with industry-leading redPanda Software senior developers and customers, designed to fast-track careers in the real world.
Our Vision

Our vision is a country and industry where there are an abundance of skills and jobs for our young people. The IT industry is poised to continue growing at lightning speed as technological innovation sweeps through every conceivable industry.

Developing Skilled IT Professionals

Rather than replace existing training academies, redAcademy has been designed to complement efforts to bring more South Africans into the workforce by proactively developing skilled IT professionals who end the programme with a certificate of achievement and a job.

Our Mission

Our mission is to develop a sustainable pipeline of highly employable and astute software developers to fulfil the local and global IT market recruitment needs. redAcademy does this through offering the most relevant software development and real world skills training to a select group of high school graduates who are representative of South Africa’s demographics.

Our Team
Jessica Hawkey, MD of redAcdemy smiling at the camera with a grey background
Jessica Hawkey
Managing Director of redAcademy

Jessica has a deep passion for providing talented South Africans with the opportunity to sprint into their software developer careers by working closely with professional lecturers, industry-leading senior developers and customers, designed to fast-track careers in the real world. She is committed to changing the way in which learning takes place, with the specific aim of addressing the skills and experience gap, as well as the talent pipeline shortage faced by CTOs and software development teams.

Jessica previously held the position of General Manager of Operations at the Carrick group of companies, a multi-award winning offshore Wealth Management organisation. Having joined Carrick from State Street Poland, in which she was responsible for the launch and training of the Asset Manager Services division in the country.

Gareth Hawkey smiling at the camera standing in one of redPanda software's offices
Gareth Hawkey
Non-Executive Director of redAcademy

Gareth has over 30 years of experience within the IT industry, and holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town. He has a deep and long standing passion for business and the development of the human capital.

With over 20 years of experience in the retail technology sphere, Gareth brings immense strategic business acumen to redPanda Software team as Group CEO and non-executive chairman of redAcademy. His unique insight has come from diverse and high-level work, including spending 10 years working with a large listed retailer; and a further 10 years on the other side of the desk, supplying retailers with dynamic technology solutions.

Nashid manager at redAcademy
Nashid Cassiem
Operations General Manager

Nashid has a great desire to see young people in South Africa to develop and grow their careers. With experience in working with an international school exchange programme in Scotland, and 10 years in Corporate Retail, he brings great insight to understanding people and process management.

Having coordinated one of TFG’s leading outbound call centres for 2 years, he led a team of 17 team leaders with a total staff complement of 250 staff. Nashid later moved into an Area Manager role overseeing 14 stores across Cape Town for 4 years.

Nashid holds a BA degree in Psychology and Linguistics from the University of the Western Cape.

Emmanuel lecturer at redAcademy
Emmanuel Madzunye
Senior Software Development Lecturer

Emmanuel holds a Masters degree in Information Technology and has more than 10 years of experience in both academics and the software industry; with extensive experience in software development. Prior to joining redAcademy, Emmanuel held the position of Software Development Team Lead and Lecturer, working closely with students on Software Development projects.

During his career, Emmanuel has worked with students from different backgrounds, in both private and public institutions. This broad experience has further strengthened Emmanuel’s ability to engage a diverse group of students through his adaptive lecturing style. Emmanuel has a strong background in implementing and improving the full systems development cycle (SDLC), with the use of a wide range of technologies and frameworks.

Shana Mbomvu
Shana Mbomvu
Senior Software Development Lecturer & Development Project Manager

Shana Mbomvu is a highly motivated individual, a Software Development graduate with international certifications from Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. He further went on to become a registered MICT Seta assessor, trained facilitator, and skills development content designer and developer with over 12 years sectorial experience including facilitating for Higher Education and Training and Further Education and Training institutions.

Prior to joining the team at redAcademy Shana held a position as Business Unit Manager and later took up a Lead Business Unit Manager role for a Skills Development business in Gauteng.

During his career, Shana acquired advanced knowledge and experience in different Mobile Application Development platforms, systems development, and various project management and software engineering and six sigma methodologies.


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