Welcome to
The Kay Mason Foundation

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The Kay Mason Foundation

KMF Trustees

Richard Mason

Founder and Trustee

I was born in South Africa in 1978, at the height of the Apartheid regime. My parents were committed supporters of a multiracial democracy and my childhood world was a strange combination of Colonial calm and political activity. One of my earliest memories is of the police shutting down a multiracial nursery school set up by my mother, Jane, to care for children during the Soweto riots. In 1988, my family and I immigrated to the UK. I now speak with an English accent but consider myself proudly South African.
I have a First Class degree in English literature from the University of Oxford. I am the author of four novels, The Drowning People, Us, The Lighted Rooms (called Natural Elements in the United States) and History of a Pleasure Seeker. You can learn more about me at www.richard-mason.org.

Why I am a KMF Trustee and Founder:

When The Drowning People became a bestseller, I was 21 years old. All the world's major faiths tell us to share what we have, so I decided to donate 10% of the proceeds. It seemed to me that helping young people get a good education is a great way to make a long term investment towards a better world. I began by sending four disadvantaged scholars to schools their parents could never have afforded. Watching them succeed against the odds was inspirational, and in 2003 I formally established the Kay Mason Foundation, named in memory of my sister Kay, under the patronage of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Since then the 150 kids we have supported through high school have given me a lot of grey hairs and sleepless nights, but also the purest form of joy. You cannot know how much fun it is to give someone an education until you do it!

Sue van der Merwe

 Kay Mason Foundation SA Chairperson 

Sue van Der Merwe has a BA degree from the University of Cape Town. She is currently a Member of Parliament, where she has served in various capacities since 1996 including as a parliamentary whip and Parliamentary Counsellor to President Mbeki. She currently serves on the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry. Ms van der Merwe was also previously Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for the period 2004 to 2010. She serves as an elected member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress. Ms van der Merwe has participated in various civil society organizations including as coordinator of the Black Sash Advice Office and director of UMAC, both Cape Town based organizations promoting human rights and currently serves as Trustee of the Kay Mason Foundation.

Why I serve on the KMF board:

The Kay Mason Foundation is an extraordinary organisation supporting school-going children with talent and drive to complete their school education in some of the best schools in Cape Town. These young people would otherwise not have had this opportunity. The desire of these young people for a better education and their commitment to achieving this is inspirational. I am proud to be part of this growing organisation and its admirable objectives.


Derek Dykman

Kay Mason Foundation SA Trustee

Information to follow soon



Lynda Cooper

  Kay Mason Foundation SA Trustee  

Information to follow soon



Dakin Parker

Kay Mason Foundation Independent Treasurer

Information to follow soon