About us

Our teachers and advisors are Indigenous peoples, nature guides, wisdom keepers, interspecies communicators, origin specialists, Indigenous Knowledge food activists, community leaders, artists, master trackers, anthropologists,  archealogists, and peacemakers.

Our classroom is the Natural World

Mbali Marais

Mbali Marais

Founder / Executive Director

Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa Mbali is a descendant of the Khoi Khoi peoples and the Amaghebe, Xhosa clan…

Kassie Naidoo

Kassie Naidoo

Creative Director

Kassie Naidoo knew from a very young age that her passion in life was being creative, every day of her life. She drew and wrote poetry…

Eurythius Lincoln Meyer

Eurythius Lincoln Meyer

Program Director

Eurythius Lincoln Meyer, hails from the small town of Pearston in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. He is a passionate Wilderness Guide and Conservationist.

Guides / Teachers / Advisors / Artists

Craig Foster

Multi Media & Origins specialist

Dr Janette Deacon

Archaeoligist specializing in in the cultural history of South Africa

Isaac and Oum Gert Kruiper

Khomani San Bushmen. Doctors, healers Storytellers and Trackers.

Zayaan Khan

Food Activist and Seed Librarian

Anna Breytenbach

Animal Communicator

Lydia Kruiper

Khomani Bushmen Indigenous healer

Leon Lewis

Specializes in the legacy of the South African Bushman

Khoi Khonnexion

Musicians, Teachers, and Visual Artists

Dr Dominique Santos

Anthropologist, Dreamer, Playworker

Return to Origin Leaders

Angelique Michaels

Graduate leader for Return to Origin’s Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program

BA degree in English Literature and Psychology

Presently completing my MA in Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University.


Over the course of the 3-year Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program, I have had the opportunity to commit to the kind of cultivation and training that has both deepened my connection to myself, brought clarity to the vision of the legacy I hope to leave behind, and inspired in me a renewed commitment to, and value for, the natural world.   

In addition to the transformative trails and quests, creative projects and reflections, inner work, tracking, and the very many deaths and rebirths that transformation to date has called for, we have had the opportunity to facilitate 6 Youth Nature Connection Days with children from the Vrygrond community and youth at Baphumelele Fountain of Hope, all of which have served as powerful reminders of the importance of leaving a legacy and sharing with young people in underserved communities some of the gifts, teachings and practices that this program has equipped us with.

My current research focuses on the materiality and sociality of infrastructure, urban governance, subject production and homelessness in Cape Town. I am interested in the field of Design Anthropology, the power of place and the ways that social and material processes, practices and beliefs construct narratives of inclusion and exclusion and shape politics of belonging in the post-apartheid present.

My vision is to combine anthropological processes and methods with the resources, teachings and practices gained through RTO’s Indigenous Knowledge Leadership Program. Integrating the principles of design anthropology and the elements of fire, water, earth, mineral and nature, I hope to work with people in communities of the Cape to re-create space and negotiate place and belonging in Cape Town.

Arnoldt Michaels

Arnoldt Michaels is a young innovator finding his niche in the Cape Town youth travel and tourism industry. He has spent much of his youth traveling and exploring the coastal regions of South Africa, driven by a strong passion for the natural beauty of the land and all the diversity in culture to be found. Through this connection with the land and her people he was drawn to get involved in community and sustainability projects, for example Unjani Art House, kwaNokuthula Township, Plettenberg Bay, where he managed and facilitated artisans and artists in teaching their skills to the children of the community.

 “Nature lets me see what’s real and what’s important.  Everything works together in harmony by simply fulfilling its natural function. It’s true and authentic and in being true we open up to our own potential.”  

 He is now eager to find a way to combine his experience and love for travel and nature in such a way as to inspire young people to explore the incredible heritage of South Africa. For him travelling opens up a doorway to seeing an alternative perspective to life. It offers a glimpse into the lives of others and young people from all over the world, regardless of their background. This broadens their minds and breaks through the barriers that they had previously thought to be the only way of life. He believes that involvement with the Return to Origin project will offer him a platform to achieving this goal.

Lindsay Burch – Trainee Leader

From the time that I was 8 years old,  I remember tossing a coin in a fountain at Disney World in Florida, and making a wish- to make the world a better place for all. 

Despite life’s setbacks, I was determined to move forward in my passion for fitness, health and well being. The plant kingdom revealed itself to me as the greatest and truest source of healing. Return To Origin’s vision is an opportunity for me to fulfill my life’s calling, which was always there from the beginning. 

Due to my concerns for the state of the environment and experiencing the awesome birth of my sons, I chose to pursue my passion for the natural world and the importance of connecting young people to its power.  It was meaningful to me to leave a legacy that my sons’ could one day be proud of.

Now as a trainee leader for Return to Origin, I am able to fully encompass my dream to assist others who may have been overlooked by society and guide them to reach their limitless potential through Indigenous Knowledge Systems and deep nature connection.   As a part of our great nation and being a father, I see the importance of the incredible heritage that this country has and the essential need to consciously preserve and protect it for our future generations.  


Accountant – Sancho – Sean Meredith

Attorney – David Jordaan Du Toit 

Bookeeper – Abi Case 

Media – Brendon Gouws


Mbali Marais
Mobile: +27 73 439 3551
Email: info@returntoorigin.org.za


RETURN TO ORIGIN is a non-profit organisation and holds a South African registered NPO 146-348

PBO 18A(1)(a)

Return to Origin relies on our community to make this work possible.