James Fernie

Uthando (Love) South Africa

A law graduate from The University of Port Elizabeth (UPE), James started his career as a paralegal at Clifford Chance, a sizable corporate law firm in London. At the end of a two-year stint in the UK, James completed a 6-month traineeship or “Stag” with ECCO, the European Commission Humanitarian Office in Brussels, Belgium. James returned to South Africa in 1997 and qualified as an attorney at Cape Town law firm Francis Thompson and Aspden. A restless desire to travel, coupled with a deep passion for South Africa, saw James change career disciplines and pursue a career in international sales and marketing in the tourism industry.


In 2006 James recognized the enormous potential of the tourism industry to contribute in a meaningful, substantial way to the community, environmental development, and charitable causes. Uthando was thus born to create a vital bridge between these sectors. Uthando has won numerous local and international awards recognizing the unique and innovative model of traveling philanthropy and its prowess as a dominant brand in the tourism industry globally.


As a grassroots activist, James has been chairperson of the Harfield Village Association (Claremont) since 2011. He uses this platform to create a vibrant local community and create bridge-building initiatives between various communities in Cape Town through philanthropic programs.


James has a deep sense of social justice, compassion, and a strong intuition regarding the urgency of profound and dramatic change in the paradigm of our human society. Besides activism, James enjoys the simple things in life; gardening, hiking, sports, going to the beach, reading, and traveling. James is a devout nature lover and feels deeply that redemption for humanity lies in urgent reconnection with Mother Earth.


My Passion: Connecting human beings with each other and to our home, Mother Earth. Playing my part to bring about a change of consciousness so that we can shift to a new paradigm of living as the old structures and paradigms have not served humanity very well at all. There is no reason  why we cannot and should not end the violence, deprivation, poverty, environmental annihilation and suffering that has dominated human “civilisation” , particularly over the last few centuries.


My Dream:  For human beings to live a culture of kindness, love, compassion and empathy, thus ending the current culture of lack, scarcity, violence, war, fear and ignorance. The earth does not belong to any of us, countries, borders, nations are recent inventions by human beings. We are all one people, we must learn to share and respect each other.