Civil society: Arts and culture

Gwen Ansell
Media Trainer
Email: [email protected]

Born in the United Kingdom, Gwen Ansell trained and taught there for 10 years. She arrived in Botswana in 1983, worked first as a journalist and a member of the Medu Arts Ensemble, then with the African National Congress department of arts and culture in Zambia and Zimbabwe. She came to South Africa in 1991 and has been a jazz columnist for publications including the Mail & Guardian, the Weekender and Business Day. From 2001 to 2003 she was executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism. She has written many books, including Introduction to Journalism and Soweto Blues: Jazz, Popular Music and Politics in South Africa. Ansell is a freelance writer and media trainer/consultant and serves on the committees of New Music SA and the South African Association of Jazz Educators, on the education and training sub-committee of the South African National Editors’ Forum and on the print media standards-generating body of the Media, Advertising, Publishing, Printing, Packaging Sector Education and Training Authority.

Ntsiki Biyela
Stellakaya Winery
Tel: +27 21 883 3873

Ntsiki Biyela, a winemaker at Stellekaya Winery in Stellenbosch, is South Africa’s first black female winemaker. Born in rural northern KwaZulu-Natal in a village called KwaVuthela, she was raised by her grandmother Bathabile Sibiya. Biyela was recruited to study viti­culture and oenology at the University of Stellenbosch and was awarded a full scholarship by South African Airways, although she admits that at first wine was a very foreign taste to her. She wanted to study chemical engineering, but her mentor, wine connoisseur Jabulani Ntshangase, encouraged her to opt for viticulture. After completing her apprenticeship at Delheim wines, she graduated in 2003. She joined Stellekaya at the beginning of 2004 as a junior winemaker and in 2005 visited Bordeaux in France to work during harvesting season. Her first batch of boutique red wines will be ready in a year’s time.

Lucilla Booyzen
Sanlam Fashion Week
+27 11 442 7812

Lucilla Booyzen completed her diploma in higher education at the Goudstad Teaching College and taught for three years before taking up a career in modelling. That led to a role in producing shows in South Africa and in the rest of the world. In 1984 she established Runway Productions, which now coordinates and produces the South African Fashion Week, established by Booyzen in 1997. She has been its director for the past 11 years. Her international highlights include directing, producing and choreographing the Swartzkopff Hair Show (Mauritius), Inter Coiffure Hair Show (Paris), Designer Show (Paris), World Gold Council Show (Venice), World Gold Council Show (Singapore) and the World Gold Council Show (Shanghai). Booyzen was also involved in the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund show for Versace (South Africa). Booyzen considers her greatest accomplishment to be the initiation of the Arts and Culture Fashion Fusion programme, which runs across all nine provinces.

Simphiwe Dana
Tel: +27 11 340 9600

Simphiwe Dana began singing ceremonial circumcision and wedding songs to herself from as early as five years old. Listening to the radio she was influenced by local artists Madosini and Amampondo and the gospel singing in her local church. Her two offerings to date are Zandisile (2004) and The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street (2007). Simphiwe performs with a band comprising South Africa’s finest crop of vocalists and instrumentalists. Her music is also studied at the Eastern University of Oregon. She has scooped an assortment of accolades both on home soil and abroad. Touring Switzerland in 2006 she received the Avo Session Arising Star. She was nominated for a BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music in Africa. She is a Sama winner and has shared the stage with Afro-pop star Angelique Kidjo.

Marianne Fassler
Fashion designer
Tel: + 27 11 646 8387

Marianne Fassler is arguably South Africa’s most original and enduring designer. She is at once an artist and an entrepreneur. Africa is a constant source of inspiration to her and is at the creative core of everything she does. She has won seven Fair Lady Fashion Awards, the last one in 2005 when she received a Lifetime Achievement Award. She won the Rapport/City Press Prestige Award in 2000 and has participated in the South African Fashion Week since its inception. Fassler has spent two decades in the fashion business. She holds a BA (Hons) from the University of the Witwatersrand but realised her dream of working creatively in the fashion industry to overcome the lack of past diversity. Her style is exotic and original and takes its cues from the indigenous. She runs a children’s clothing label called Sibella.

Harriet Gavshon
Curious Pictures
Tel: +27 11 726 2828

Harriet Gavshon is a founder and a director of Curious Pictures, one of South Africa’s most successful and innovative film and television production companies. Curious Pictures is known for some of South Africa’s most memorable television programmes including Ordinary People, Ghetto Diaries, Tobias’ Bodies, Love Stories, Tsha Tsha and, most recently, the Heartlines series. Gavshon was born in Pretoria and educated at St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls. She received a bachelor of dramatic arts from the University of the Witwatersrand and an MA degree from New York University. She taught at both Unisa and Wits before helping to found the Free Filmmakers Cooperative. With a number of colleagues, she went on to form Weekly Mail Television, which became Mail & Guardian Television, which, through a management buy-out, then became Curious Pictures. She is married to Professor Anton Harber, head of the Graduate School of Journalism at Wits.

Linda Givon
Gallery owner
Goodman Gallery
Tel: +27 11 788 1113

For more than four decades Linda Givon has owned the Goodman Gallery, one of South Africa’s most important commercial galleries for contemporary art. Givon established the Goodman Gallery in 1966. She has discovered and promoted many prominent artists including Dumile Feni, Sydney Kumalo, Penny Siopis, Cecil Skotnes, William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins and Sam Nhlengethwa. Through the Eighties Givon promoted South African artists abroad, with the permission of the cultural desk in London. This was done predominantly in Basel at the world’s most prestigious art fair. Today the Goodman Gallery still exhibits at important art events abroad. Givon has also been instrumental in arranging groundbreaking exhibitions at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, for example, Kentridge’s major retrospective in 2005. Givon’s collaboration with photographer David Goldblatt resulted in the publication of the book Particulars in 2004, which won Europe’s most important book prize, the Rencontre d’Arles award. She established a Cape Town branch of Goodman Gallery in 2007 and sold both businesses in 2008.

Nadine Gordimer
Agent: AP Watt Ltd
20 John Street

Nadine Gordimer, South African novelist and short-story writer, received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1991. She was born in Springs in 1923 and has lived all her life in South Africa. Her principal works, 14 novels, include A Guest of Honour, The Conservationist, Burger’s Daughter, July’s People, The Pickup and Get a Life, published in 2005. She has published 11 short-story collections — the most recent, Loot and Other Stories, appeared in 2003. She is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy and the Institute of Arts and Letters, fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme. She has received the Order of the Southern Cross from South Africa, the Order of Friendship from the Republic of Cuba, has a Presidential Medal of Honour from the Republic of Chile and a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France. She has 15 honorary degrees from universities in Europe, the United States and South Africa.

Janice Honeyman
Theatre director
Tel: +27 21 439 9128

After many years as associate director at the Market Theatre and executive artistic director of the Johannesburg Civic Theatre, Janice Honeyman is now a freelance director based in Cape Town. She is well-known for her charming stage and TV productions for children and as a director of opera, pantomime and musicals, comedies and drama, classic and contemporary works. By invitation of the Royal Shakespeare Company in London, she directed Athol Fugard’s Hello and Goodbye with Sir Antony Sher and Estelle Kohler. She also directed a gala concert for the Celebrate South Africa festival in the Royal Festival Hall. Her most recent direction for the Baxter Theatre Centre was Twaalfde Nag in April 2005. She has a string of awards to her name: a Fleur du Cap Award for Best Director, an FNB Vita Theatre Award, the Johnnie Walker Achiever Award and the Five Roses Young Artist Award. She was crowned with the Fleur du Cap Award as Best Director for John Kani’s Nothing But the Truth. The production played at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including the Lincoln Centre in New York and the Sydney Opera House.

Sibongile Khumalo
Tel: +27 11 680 5708

Sibongile Khumalo is South Africa’s favourite diva and is as much at home with opera as she is with jazz. She holds music degrees from the University of Zululand (BAMus) and Wits University (BAHons), as well as a higher diploma in personnel management from the University of the Witwatersrand. She led the South African national anthem at the World Cup rugby finals in 1995. Khumalo has brought out a number of albums, including Haya Mpwan’ Omkhulu, a cycle of songs of princess Magogo ko Dinuzulu. She appeared in many operatic roles including the title role of Magogo ka Dinuzulu, Amneris in Aïda, Azucena in Il Trovatore and many others. Khumalo is the daughter of music professor Khabi Z Mngoma.

Leleti Khumalo
Tel: +27 11 788 4873

Leleti Khumalo has grown from a child star into an actress of international standing. She was born in 1970 in KwaMashu township in the north of Durban, and in her youth was initiated into a backyard dance group called Amajika, mentored by well-known musician Tu Nokwe. In 1985 Khumalo appeared in Mbongeni Ngema’s international blockbuster Sarafina! — the lead role was, in fact, created for her. On Broadway she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress, and in Los Angeles in 1987 she received a National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People Image Award for Best Stage Actress. In 1991 she starred opposite Whoopi Goldberg in the film version of Sarafina! and was nominated for a film Image Award. In 1998 she appeared in the movie Cry, the Beloved Country alongside Richard Harris and James Earl Jones, but it is her role as the HIV-positive mother in Darrell Roodt’s Yesterday for which Khumalo is most celebrated. The movie was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2005.

Antjie Krog
Tel: +27 11 959 2911

Antjie Krog was born in the Kroonstad district in 1952. She is the author of Country of My Skull, an epic introspection about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by the poet who headed the SABC team covering the hearings in 1998. The book is subtitled Guilt, Sorrow and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa. In 2003, the book was turned into a major feature film. In 1999, Country of My Skull received the Alan Paton Award for Best South African Non-Fiction and the BookData/South African Booksellers’ Book of the Year Award. In 2000, it received the Olive Schreiner Award for Prose. She has received the Eugene Marais prize for most promising young writer (1973), a Herzog Prize for poetry (1990), an honorary mention at the Noma Awards (1996) and a Hiroshima Foundation Award for Peace and Culture (2000). Krog is also the author of novels and plays as well as the translator into Afrikaans of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. In 2004 she was appointed extraordinary professor in the arts faculty of the University of the Western Cape.

Miriam Makeba
Singer and human rights campaigner

Miriam Makeba was born in Johannesburg in 1932. She is an internationally regarded singer and human rights campaigner. In the mid-1950s she was a vocalist with the Manhattan Brothers and later recorded with the all-woman group The Skylarks. In 1959 Makeba won the lead role in Todd Matshikiza’s musical King Kong. She left the country in 1960 for a lengthy exile. In the United States she sang at President John F Kennedy’s birthday celebration and worked with Harry Belafonte. In 1963 her South African citizenship was revoked when she testified about apartheid before the United Nations. She married Black Panther leader Stokely Carmichael and fled to Guinea after harassment by the US authorities. In 1987 she participated in Paul Simon’s Graceland project. Makeba returned to South Africa in 1990. She has released more than 30 albums and has earned numerous international awards. She is an ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and, in 2002, set up the Makeba Centre for Girls in Midrand. She released her autobiography and announced her retirement in 2005.

Siya Makuzeni
Trombonist and vocalist
Agent: Toyitoyi Unlimited
Tel: +27 72 273 2946

Siya Makuzeni has fitted in quite a lot in her 25 years. Besides regularly collaborating with A-list musicians such as Marcus Wyatt, Zim Ngqawana, 340ml, Simphiwe Dana, Tlale Makhene, Themba Mkhize, Greg Georgiades, McCoy Mrubata and Feya Faku, she is also the lead vocalist and trombonist of her own eclectic jazz-based group, Ippyfüs. Makuzeni picked up her weapon of choice in 1997 while attending Stirling High School in East London and completed a BMusJazz degree at the Pretoria Technikon Music School. She has since toured and performed around the globe, most notably in Italy where she contributed to the soundtrack of Forse Dio è malato (Maybe God is Ill) with the Oscar-winning company CAM Scores. A session musician and voice-over artist in her spare time, Makuzeni has lent her songwriting skills to a recent album by Marcus Wyatt, and her vocals to the Carlo Mombelli-led Prisoners of Strange. She is working on Ippyfüz’s debut album, which is due out next year.

Pauline Malefane

After studying at UCT’s College of Music Pauline Malefane joined the Lyric Theatre company Dimpho Di Kopane to play Mary in Yiimimangaliso — The Mysteries and the title role in a new translation of Bizet’s Carmen. Both productions toured to London. She has since played the role in Australia, the US and at a Presidential Command Performance in Johannesburg. As Mary in Yiimimangaliso she has played in the West End, New York and the Spoletto, Dublin, New Haven and Perth international festivals. She performed in and translated into Xhosa U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 2005. For her performance she was awarded a Golden Thumb by the US’s Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert. In 2006 she acted in, co-wrote and translated Son of Man, which won Best Feature at the PAFF film festival in Los Angeles and the Founders Prize at Michael Moore’s Festival in Michigan. In 2006 she sang Bess in Porgy and Bess in Cape Town and Sweden. In 2007 she won the Safta Award for Best Actress in a Feature Film. The Magic Flute/Impempe Yomlingo, in which she appeared at the Young Vic and on the West End, won the 2008 award for the Best Musical Revival at London’s prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards.

Rebecca Malope
Gospel singer

Rebecca Malope is South Africa’s queen of gospel. She has sold several million records worldwide. Malope was born in the rural township of Lekazi near the Kruger National Park, arrived in Johannesburg in 1986 and, a year later, entered the Shell Road to Fame talent search, winning in the category Best Female Vocalist. She started a partnership with Sizwe Zako and music agent Peter Tladi and raised money to record her debut album. The album topped the charts and reached gold status. In 1995 Malope made music history with the release of her seventh album, Shwele Baba, which sold more than 100 000 copies in only three weeks. Malope has won many accolades, including an OKTV award for Best South African Female Artist for the period 1989/90. More than 10-million listeners voted her the Best Local Established Artist in the 1993 Coca-Cola Full Blast music contest. In 1994 she won the FNB South African Music Award for Best Gospel Singer. She has toured the United Kingdom, France and Israel and to date she has recorded more than 14 albums.

Marilyn Martin
Director, Art Collections
Iziko Museums
Tel: +27 21 467 4660

In May 2001, after 11 years as director of the South African National Gallery in Cape Town, Marilyn Martin was appointed director of art collections for Iziko Museums of Cape Town. Prior to this she was senior lecturer in the department of architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand. She was a member of the National Arts Council from 1997 to 2004 and is a trustee of the Arts and Culture Trust. She has curated exhibitions of South African art in the United States, Denmark, France, Mali and for the 2002 São Paulo Biennale. She has served on selection panels for the Dakar Biennale. In 2006 Martin also curated the highly successful Picasso and Africa exhibition in Johannesburg and Cape Town, together with Laurence Madeline of the Picasso Museum in Paris. She was a consultant for the art works in the Cape Town International Convention Centre. She has written numerous articles on art, culture and architecture. In 2002 Martin was admitted to France’s Legion d’Honneur at the rank of officer.

Lebogang (Lebo) Mashile
Artist / Presenter
Tel: +27 21 462 4360

Lebo Mashile is poetry’s hottest property. This spoken-word artist and television presenter was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, in the United States. Her parents were in exile and since returning to the country she has established the Feela Sistah Spoken Word Collective, acted in the international feature Hotel Rwanda, published two books and launched a CD of live poetry mixed with beats (Lebo Mashile Live). Her poetry collection won a Noma Award in 2006 and has been followed by a self-published anthology titled Fly above the Sky (2008). She is executive producer and host of SABC1’s travel series L’atitude. In 2004 Mashile was nominated for the prestigious DaimlerChrysler Award for Poetry. She holds a degree in law and international relations from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Maria McCloy
Black Rage Productions
Tel: +27 11 648 9343

Maria McCloy started the multimedia company Black Rage Productions with Kutloano Skosana and their partner Addiel Dzinoreva (Dzino) when they were journalism students at Rhodes University back in 1996. Since then Black Rage Productions has become a leading and influential force in documenting and being part of South African urban culture. McCloy, who has contributed to a number of local and international magazines such as Trace in NY, edits their groundbreaking website, The company also creates documentaries and produces content for television. Black Rage Productions also has a record label, Outrageous Records, which is home to musicians H20, Zubz, Pebbles, Proverb and Optical Illusion.

Gcina Mhlophe
Poet, playwright, performer and author
Tel: +27 11 483 2058
Email: [email protected]

Gcina Mhlophe — poet, playwright, performer and author of children’s books — was born in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, in 1958 and today resides in Durban. She enjoyed a fruitful career in the theatre in the late Eighties and early Nineties, winning awards on the Edinburgh festival fringe and a BBC Africa Service Award for radio drama. Today she is best known as a writer of books for youth, including the indigenous language learners’ Siyakhula Series and The Story of Mazanendaba, which was translated into Italian. She has won awards for storytelling and heritage preservation at home, in the United Kingdom and in Sweden. Last year she worked on a multimedia production with the Moving Poets company in North Carolina. She has honorary doctorates from the University of Pretoria and Fort Hare.

Nodi Murphy
Festival Director
Out In Africa South African Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Tel: +27 21 461 4027

Nodi Murphy is one of the country’s most adventurous and committed film personalities, a pioneer in the field of film festival organisation. She has a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Cape Town where she began organising film festivals as chairperson of the Film Society there. She initiated, directs and co-directs the two most successful film festivals in South Africa: the Out in Africa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (since 1994) and the Encounters Documentary Festival (since 1999). Both projects include successful workshop programmes in scriptwriting and filmmaking, which have resulted in the production of more than 40 films. The outreach projects of the Out in Africa festival have made movies available to people in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Uganda and Kenya. Satellite festivals take place in Ermelo, Pietermaritzburg, Kimberley and Mafeking. In 2005 Encounters launched Encontros Maputo, an initiative to start a film festival in Mozambique. Murphy represents Out in Africa and Encounters at international festivals and has sat on film festival juries abroad.

Nkhensani Nkosi
Talk show host, actress and entrepreneur
Stoned Cherrie
Tel: +27 11 402 0188

Nkhensani Nkosi is best known as the television host of the talk show Mojo on SABC1, which she presents with her husband Zam. She is also an actress, fashion designer, entrepreneur and founder of the enormously popular clothing range Stoned Cherrie. Plays she has appeared in include Sophiatown, The Coloured Museum and Marabi, which toured internationally. She has won numerous awards, including the International Crystal Award for Entertainer of the Year in 1998. She is a two-time Style magazine award-winner for best designer. The chain store Woolworths chose her, among others, as a new South African designer and retailed her diffusion line in 2004. She released her first compilation music CD titled Stars at Play on the What’s Phat record label in 2005.

Pamela Nomvete
Tel: +27 11 447 4600

Pamela Nomvete is one of South Africa’s most respected actresses and an icon in the local film industry. She is a graduate of Cheltenham Ladies College and the Welsh College of Music and Drama. In the United Kingdom, where she was raised, she performed with the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Court and the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, and appeared in drama productions for the BBC and Thames Television. Since coming to South Africa, she has written, produced and directed for the theatre and performed at the Windybrow Theatre, the Durban Playhouse and the Market Theatre, winning acclaim for her role in John Kani’s Nothing but the Truth. She has also appeared in several television soap operas. Her movie roles include Zulu Love Letter, for which she won a Best Actress Award in 2005 at the Fespaco Film Festival in Burkina Faso. For her role in Raoul Peck’s Sometimes in April, she won an Audience Choice Award at the 2005 Durban International Film Festival.

Maya Prass
Tel: +27 21 465 5499

Couturier Maya Prass has already achieved way beyond her 29 years. Now a mainstream designer of eminently wearable garments made with a lightness of touch, Prass is a feature on fashion-week runways across the country. In 2004 and 2005, she was selected from a host of designers to be one of three represented on the racks of major chain Woolworths. In 2003 she was nominated for a prestigious Fairlady Catherine Award. She trained at the Cape Technikon and completed her fashion and design technology course with four distinctions. She established her label in 2000, after winning the 1999 Fairlady Young Designer of the Year award. In 2003 a small collection of hers was available in New York, London and Munich. She was the 2005 Catherine Award winner.

Fiona Ramsay
Tel: +27 11 788 4873

Fiona Ramsay is one of the country’s leading actresses, working on stage, television, film and radio. She graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BA performer’s diploma before forming the Troupe Theatre Company. She has won more than 20 awards and her notable roles include performances in Decadence, Talking Heads, Agnes of God, The Real Thing, Ladies and Gentlemen Shakespeare, Life X 3, My Brilliant Divorce and Honour. Ramsay lived in the United Kingdom for several years where she appeared on stage in a number of plays and on television. She directs and teaches and is founder of the Speakeasy Vocal Academy, which specialises in dialogue coaching for the film industry. She was dialogue coach on the acclaimed Hotel Rwanda. Her local television appearances include Justice for All and Hard Copy, for which she won a Duka Duka Award. She hosts the literature and arts radio shows Between the Covers and Cultural Exchange on SAfm.

Penny Siopis
Tel: +27 11 717 4631

Penny Siopis is an artist of international standing who has won many awards. She is professor of fine arts at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is famous for her allegorical paintings and film installations, notably My Lovely Day (1997), which is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm. Siopis has had 20 solo exhibitions; her most recent was hosted by the Freud Museum in London in 2007. She has also participated in numerous prestigious local and international group shows. Siopis was born in 1953 in Vryburg in the Northern Cape and grew up in Port Elizabeth. She studied fine arts at Rhodes University and later in the United Kingdom. She was a visiting research fellow at the University of Leeds in 1992 and a visiting professor at Umea University in Sweden in 2000. Most recently she has been the subject of a monograph published by the Goodman Gallery (2005).

Kutloano Skosana
Black Rage Productions
Tel: +27 11 483 0988

Kutloano Skosana, Addiel Dzinoreva (Dzino) and Maria McCloy started their multimedia company in 1996. Since then Black Rage Productions has become a leading and influential force in documenting and being part of South African urban culture. Skosana is a presenter on SAfm, having previously worked at Metro FM and Kaya FM. The company creates documentaries and produces content for television. Black Rage Productions has a record label, Outrageous Records, which is home to musicians H20, Zubz, Pebbles, Proverb and Optical Illusion.

Corina van der Spoel
Bookshop manager
Tel: +27 11 482 3609

Corina van der Spoel started Boekehuis bookshop in 2000 in an old, characterful house off the beaten track in Auckland Park/Melville. The bookshop, with its regular launches and discussions, is now a valued public space in Johannesburg where readers meet writers and ideas are exchanged. Regular book events with authors such as André Brink, Bernard Schlink, Justin Cartwright, Nuruddin Farah, Lewis Nkosi and Antjie Krog have become regular meetings for like-minded people. Writers increasingly tend to choose Boekehuis for their launches because of its non-mall setting and intimate, specialist and unabashedly intelligent approach. Over the past four years Van der Spoel has coordinated a five-day discussion and book presentation programme, which is now a key element of Potchefstroom’s annual Aardklop Arts Festival. The Boekehuis is owned by Naspers.

Annari van der Merwe
Publishing director
Random House
Tel: +27 21 410 8785

Annari van der Merwe is publishing director of Random House in South Africa and responsible for developing a local publishing list under the Umuzi imprint. She grew up in the Richmond district of the Karoo and was awarded an American Field Service scholarship in her youth. She has a PhD in Afrikaans literature from Rhodes University and conducted post-doctoral studies at the Utrecht Rijksuniversiteit in The Netherlands. Van der Merwe has lectured at both Rhodes University and the University of the Western Cape and has worked in broadcasting in The Netherlands. In 1978 she was appointed as head of the children’s and youth book division at Tafelberg Publishers in Cape Town. She subsequently became senior editor, a post she held until 1993. From 1994 to 2004 Van der Merwe headed Kwela Books, an imprint of NB Publishers. In her current capacity she continues to develop new writers but also edits the work of some established writers and commissions the text and cover design of all Umuzi titles.

Mandie van der Spuy
Head of Arts and Jazz Sponsorships
Standard Bank Group
Tel: +27 11 636 6595

Mandie van der Spuy is responsible for the development, management and implementation of Standard Bank’s arts, culture and jazz sponsorship programme. The bank has been a long-standing supporter of the arts, sponsoring projects such as the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, a series of jazz festivals and the presentation of major South African and international exhibitions at the Standard Bank Gallery. Prior to joining Standard Bank, she worked in the theatre industry in various capacities, including theatre management and administration, marketing and public relations. She holds a master’s degree in theatre literature from the Sorbonne University, Paris, and serves on the boards of several arts organisations. A Chevalier award of the National Order of Merit was recently bestowed on her by the president of France in recognition of her long-term commitment in strengthening and promoting cultural relations between France and South Africa, in particular the organisation of the Picasso and Africa exhibition.

Lolo Veleko
Email: [email protected]

Photographer and graphic artist Lolo Veleko shot to international fame for her series of oddball fashionista portraits called Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder. The photographs, which were showcased as part of a group exhibition of contemporary African photography, turned up in urban style magazines everywhere. It not only afforded a rare glimpse of contemporary fashion on the continent, but also forced us to reconsider how we formulate our own identities, a recurring concern in the artist’s oeuvre. Veleko was born in North West province, trained in graphic design at the Cape Technikon and in photography at the Market Photography Workshop. She has since exhibited in Italy, the Canary Islands, Switzerland and London. Veleko also took up a two-month residency with the International Photography Research Network in the United Kingdom in 2007. Her work also appeared in Women by Women: 50 Years of Women’s Photography in South Africa, published in 2006. In 2008 she was named the Standard Bank Young Artist for visual art.

Gaynor Young
Performer and writer

In December 1989, as a young talented actress, Gaynor Young stepped onto the stage of the State Theatre to debut as Guinevere in the musical Camelot. What should have been the most important night in Young’s life proved to be catastrophic. Mistakenly, she stepped into an unguarded lift shaft and fell 18 metres. She spent months in hospital and rehabilitation and was left with severe physical damage. Rather than allow herself to be eroded by self-pity after the devastating injuries cut short her acting career, she gritted her teeth and got to work to make the best of her severely changed life. Young turned her tragedy into words that became a script, put on a big crooked smile and got up on stage to tell the world that her handicaps were not going to be the end, but a beginning. In May 2004 Young’s second production Gaynor Rising — The Celebration of a Life was staged at the Theatre on the Square in Sandton to standing ovations. Although Young is Durban-based, she delivers presentations around the country.

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