Sibella Knott-Craig: Xander’s Creator and the Mom who started it all


Our super #XanderMom for this week is Sibella Knott-Craig. To say that Sibella is a busy working mom would be an understatement. As CEO and co-founder of Tribage, she manages to look after three young children while building a truly African tech company and – of course, taking the time to be mother to our very own little Xander.

‘I don’t try to manage everything – it’s too difficult. I laugh a lot, else I’d go mad.’

We asked Sibella the important questions – how does she manage to juggle all her responsibilities, and what advice does she have for the rest of us?

Sibella is lucky in that she works for herself, and can often bring the kids to work if necessary. She is also ruthless with prioritising her time, and tries to fit in the most important items early in the morning, so that she frees up time to spend with her kids in the afternoons. She is acutely aware of the fact that time is an asset that must be managed, and that time with your kids is precious and a finite resource.

‘Having three young children and an entrepreneurial husband has taught me not to sweat the small stuff, to embrace uncertainty, and to simplify decisions through default rules.’

Sibella develops educational apps, and lives and works with technology on a daily basis. We were curious as to how this fits in with her parenting. How much does such a tech-savvy mom rely on technology?

She believes that it is important to distinguish between high quality interactive screen time and passive, mindless screen time. And to be consistent with any rules or limitations.

Her iPads are loaded with educational material so she have peace of mind when screen time  exceeds the generally accepted 40 mins a day.  Her kids are also lucky enough to feed chickens every day, take the dog for a walk and tend their veggies, and manage a good dose of Vitamin D and dirt to counter any inside time.

Of course the kids all love Xander Apps, while her 2 year old enjoys the Nosy Crow Books.The 4 and 6 year old like the OneBillion  and colouring in apps, and Sibella feels comfortable with Montessori learning apps and often loads these  for her kids.

‘There are always new and great apps being launched, and  we enjoy trying them all out.’

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Sibella tells us in her own words what she loves about living in South Africa.

“Real life giraffes! And too many more to mention. I seriously believe that South African children are the luckiest children in the world. Endless summers, marshmallows on the braai, bare feet, open spaces, crab hunts with torches, cultural richness, child-friendly places, wine farms, and loving, laughing, clapping, singing nannies! But of all  these, I would have to say giraffes.”