Malaika Maphalala

Sustainable communities, regenerative agriculture, social justice, and alleviation of global poverty.

Our job together is nothing short of transforming the global economic system. As your advisor I am committed to finding the most powerful and effective ways to both build wealth and create the kind of positive change we most want to see in the world.

Location | Hawaii and Oregon

Phone | 877-424-2140

Joining Natural Investments LLC is the current culmination of her life-long journey of contributing to the creation of a sustainable future. For the past ten years, Malaika has shared her talents in non-profit administration and within community arts organizations in Hawaii.

Her business, Dragonfly Productions, provided program development, grant writing, administrative services and fiscal management for non-profit organizations in East Hawaii, and in 2000, she co-founded Dragon’s Eye Learning Center, a non-profit organization providing arts, education, and sustainable agriculture programming for the rural community of Puna. Her more recent work as the Business Manager for a private investment firm specializing in foreign currency trading, where she worked directly with investors and developed and implemented fiscal tracking and accounting systems, inspired her to become a Registered Investment Advisor and join the NI team. A lifelong advocate for social change, Malaika is driven by a passion for finding innovative approaches to bringing people and resources together to address social and environmental complexities. She sees NI’s commitment to reintegrate money and values as an exciting tool in the movement to create a sustainable future.

The daughter of a cross-cultural marriage, Malaika spent her early childhood in Swaziland and Botswana before moving to the west coast of the United States. She is a graduate of the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands where in1991she received a BA with High Honors in Fine Art and Ethnic Studies. Johnston’s highly alternative learning environment fostered a lifelong love for adventure, community, and exploration of the “roads less traveled.” During her undergraduate years, she spent an eye-opening six months in Nigeria with the School for International Training, where she undertook an in-depth study of the economic and lifestyle shifts felt by a traditional nomadic cattle herding culture of northern Nigeria as they transitioned to an agriculturally based life, followed by an apprenticeship in traditional Nigerian arts at Nike Davies’ artist community in Osogbo, Nigeria. It was here that she was first exposed to Tropical Permaculture, rural livelihoods, the real need for truly sustainable development, and the power of art as an expression of a community.

After college, Malaika went on to spend 16 years living in the rural, economically deprived community of East Hawaii where she was deeply engaged in bringing resources together to vitalize and bring more opportunity to the area. She was a cofounder and ten year member of an intentional community focusing on alternative social systems based on cooperative parenting, shared economics and sustainable agriculture. The community, centered on 40+ acres of fruit trees, pasture, and undeveloped forest, employs principles of Permaculture in its development and relies on solar power for energy. The community is currently home to the Dragon’s Eye Learning Center (DELC), the non-profit Malaika cofounded with 3 other community members. Over the years, DELC has offered ongoing programming in visual and performing arts, alternative education, and sustainable agriculture, and has been host to numerous community events such as the Koa’e Family Festival and the Sustainable Living Expo. Malaika served as an administrator and program coordinator for DELC for eight years, securing grant funding and managing volunteers, while developing and delivering a wide variety of programs. One of these, Dragon’s Eye Theater, a program for at-risk youth in which participants created original theatrical productions addressing social and environmental issues, was honored in 2005 with a national award honoring America’s best community service projects by youth.

Through her private business, Dragonfly Productions, Malaika provided administrative services, program development, grant management, and community arts coordination to many non-profits, community groups, schools, and private businesses throughout East Hawaii. One such organization, the Big Island Dance Council, independently contracted her from 2003-2009 as grant writer and sole administrator of their Big Island Dance Education Project. This island-wide project, funded in part by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, brings dance professionals into Hawaii schools to provide dance workshops for students in K-12th grades. Always passionate about visual and performing arts, Malaika has been a vital force for delivering a multitude of arts programs and events for at-risk youth and families in a community where access to the arts is severely limited at best.

Malaika currently divides her time between Oregon, near Portland, where her oldest daughter is completing high school, and her beautiful, 3 acre, “off-grid” homestead in rural East Hawaii. She continues to do art in its variety of forms and loves a great camping trip whether it’s on the black and white sand beaches of Hawaii or in the beautiful pine covered mountains of the Northwest.