“Manzandaba” is the name of the bringer of stories to humanity, as told by the Zulu people of South Africa. Just as Manzandaba brought a shell from out of the sea and let her children listen to it, interpreting the whispering echoes as the details of a story, so we provide spaces for people to gather around a story, enabling them to find their own interpretation and learning, which they then can apply to their daily setting.

Stories are common to all humanity. Stories enable us to make sense of complex ideas. Stories provide us with understanding and vision. Stories entertain and inspire. Therefore, our work crosses into many different areas from training to branding and marketing to presentation skills to communications to transition to children’s theatre to improving writing skills. For us, the story is central and the human engagement is paramount.

We chose the name “Manzandaba”, because we bring the shell to you – providing a framework in which you’ll be able to listen well and interpret what you hear and see. And in so doing, we look to ensure you make a deeper connection.

Johnny Gillett

Chief of Programmes and Training

Johnny (aka The Journey Man) has worked for over 30 years in the Arts and Education. His work as a teacher, performer and theatre director has taken him all over the world.

Over the last 10 years, he has developed the methodology of Story Practice and created tools which can be used in education, communities and businesses to move beyond storytelling and more fully access the potential of stories for personal change and renewed vision.

Johnny is the chief designer of programmes for our clients and oversees the training of our team and associates, so ensuring that they all deliver in the Way of the Journey Man.

Story Practice
Lizann Tan

Chief of Communications & Marketing

As Chief of Communications and Marketing, with 5 years’ experience in the Media and Creative Arts industry, Lizann develops our communication strategies and produces Manzandaba’s media including our website and digital presence.

Majoring in Sonic Arts and Media Technologies, Lizann is a creative individual with a keen eye for detail. She loves teaching and passing on the joy of performance, arts and music.

Lizann is also well-versed with digital music production and having done sound design for various animations, as well as Halloween Horror Nights. She also draws on her experience in photography and videography to provide such workshop in schools.


Story telling
Nimal De Silva

Chief of Sales and Human Resources

Nimal has worked in Music and Education for the last 10 years. His role has been personal teacher and team building facilitator with clients such as Apple, CPF, CDAC and various government and international schools.

Nimal has been working with Manzandaba co-founder, Johnny Gillett, since 2016 in both drama and Story Practice. Nimal helps to facilitate Story Practice workshops, ensuring clients meet their goal requirements.