James Thomas, a key member of the EVI team, lost his life in the terrorist attack at the Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on September 21st 2013 while on a business trip for EVI.
James will be remembered for his intuitive insight into development solutions, incredibly infectious positive energy, and creative genius. He was a key member of EVI's team for many years and a dear, dear friend. James was the creative brainchild behind many of EVI's innovative curricula and tools.
James played an active role in development throughout the apartheid era in South Africa, leading many non-profit initiatives at the time, including founding the Triple Trust Organization and Institute for Development Services (now known as the South African Institute for Entrepreneurship). James was behind many successful initiatives, ranging from the development of entrepreneurial training tools now used in over 45 countries to the support of South Africa’s most successful youth choir. James touched the hearts and souls of all those he has worked with, from country leaders through to local taxi drivers. He was a dedicated husband to his wife Colleen, and an inspirational father to his two beloved daughters, Julie and Sarah, and his son, Sipho.
James supported EVI's work in South Africa, Liberia, Kenya, and Tanzania. The impact of James’ approach has been felt by hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers and youth entrepreneurs in many countries throughout the world.
James was committed to the continent he lived and worked in, and he inspired those that worked with and who knew him.