The ASSITEJ Team

Through creative processes, ASSITEJ empowers young people to find and develop their unique voice.  And we strive to release latent creative talents in the youth of South Africa.

Our Management Team

Through leadership opportunities, we develop confidence and responsibility in the new generation.  And through the profound interaction theatre offers, ASSITEJ helps to heal the hurts of the past & provide a vision of potential for the future.

YVETTE HARDIE

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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Yvette is a theatre producer, director, educator and advocate, focusing on theatre for young audiences. She founded ASSITEJ SA in 2007, and has served three terms (2011 – 2021) as President of the international ASSITEJ. In these capacities, she creates opportunities for artistic exchange, mentorship, skills development and cross-cultural collaboration, while working to invigorate the SA theatrical landscape with high quality and widely accessible performances. She was Head of Department: National School of the Arts; the producer of the much-toured Hugh Masekela musical, Truth in Translation; and has written DBE curricula and textbooks for Dramatic Arts and Creative Arts. She was awarded the Mickey Miner Award for Lifetime Achievement from the International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) for her contribution to TYA locally and globally.

NKOSIVUMILE LUSU

FINANCE MANAGER

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Nkosivumile has a Degree Baccalaureus Technologiae: Taxation from Cape Peninsula University of Technology as well as a National Diploma: Internal Auditing and a National Higher Certificate: Accountancy. After studying, he did articles under the South African Institute of Professional Accountants where he was exposed to a variety of clients with different needs. He is a certified member of the South African Institute of Profession Accountants (SAIPA) and a Certified Member (Professional Accountant SA). Before taking on the role of Finance and Operations manager at ASSITEJ SA in 2021, he worked for GLS Consulting (Pty) Ltd as a Financial Accountant and before that at the National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW) as an Junior Accountant & Supervisor. He joined ASSITEJ SA in 2020.

HAILEY CHISHOLM

OPERATIONS MANAGER

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Hailey studied BA Dramatic Arts at the University of Witwatersrand. She was appointed production/stage manager for “Izinyawo Productions”, managing logistics, artist contracts and international promoters, touring internationally with the productions African Footprint, Hairspray, and Hair, shortly after university.  In 2009 she joined Cape Town Opera as Production Manager, working on large-scale operas both nationally and internationally until 2014. During this time she taught a production management course at Artscape under their Technical Training Academy, providing young technicians with onsite technical experience. She was appointed Production Manager at the Market Theatre, heading the technical department, managing multiple venues, and working on numerous productions and events. Hailey freelances as a set designer, facilitator, and project manager for theatre and corporate events. She joined ASSITEJ SA as Operations Manager in March 2022. 

RYAN DITTMAN

THEATRE4YOUTH NATIONAL COORDINATOR

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Ryan has extensive experience in production management, touring, and workshop facilitation, as well as being a theatre maker, actor, producer, and arts entrepreneur based in Johannesburg. In 2010, Ryan collaboratively launched ZikkaZimba Productions with Jaques de Silva. The company employs up to 20 arts practitioners who contribute in various ways to South Africa’s thriving cultural economy. Ryan acknowledged the importance and need to engage with young, developing audiences and the company started to collaborate with the local education sector in an attempt to build sustainable relationships with schools in and around the Gauteng province. Over 11 years, the company has developed workshops, interactive lectures, training modules and performances that are commissioned by various schools around the country. ZikkaZimba has established a network within 25 schools, providing support and enrichment to various Dramatic Arts Departments. He has headed ASSITEJ SA’s SEF project since March 2022.

ALISON GREEN

EDUCATIONAL MANAGER

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Alison is an educator, theatre practitioner and facilitator. Her teaching experience includes the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, Rodean, The National School of the Arts and Creative Voices – an integrated Arts Initiative associated with the Royal London Opera House. In 2013 Alison attended the UNESCO World Arts Alliance Conference in Germany, as the South African Arts Educator Representative. She is the project manager for the ASSITEJ SA Kickstarter Creative Arts programme, which is the first ever case study for the impact of Arts in South Africa. Alison has served on the Naledi panel for the ‘ Best Production For Children and Young Audiences,’ a new category focusing on the outstanding work being created for youth. Alison is interested in play and the transformative power of the Arts to shift and develop communities. She has an MPhil in Creativity and Arts Education from Cambridge University.

TSHOLOFELO SHOUNYANE

ASSITEJ SA EDUCATION COORDINATOR

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Tsholo has a BA Drama Degree from the University of Pretoria, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and completed a Copywriting for Online Marketing short course, University of Cape Town. She is a creator: a theatre practitioner-facilitator, author, doll-maker (and maker of other things), puppeteer, storyteller, educator and Child Enthusiast. She has worked at ASSITEJ SA since 2018. She is also the creator of Nonki Nice Plush Toys, a soft doll company that makes toys for young and old audiences alike and offers live storytelling with puppetry and workshops for children.  This is how she adds to the creating of Africa and its rich culture. Making our world a colourful place – one child, one doll, one story at a time.

FAYE KABALI-KAGWA

PROJECT MANAGER & CRADLE OF CREATIVITY CURATOR

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Faye is a cultural curator, arts coordinator, and writer with a keen focus on youth voices. In 2023 Faye was the curator for the Cradle of Creativity Festival which took place in Johannesburg and featured 27 productions from South Africa and abroad. She runs the Unlocking Learners’ Creativity project in the Western Cape, as well as heading the 10Children project, amongst others. Faye was named one of the Mail & Guardians Top 200 Young South Africans in 2021. She has an uncanny ability to read the pulse of the cultural zeitgeist and builds interventions that go beyond artistic output and is interested in audience as engaged contributors to her work.  Faye’s writing has included reflecting on contemporary theatre and their commentary on land reformation, same-sex schools and coded patriarchy as well as reminiscing on important ephemeral cultural spaces. Faye has been published in the Mail & Guardian, New Frame, and Culture Review. 

Our Supportive Staff

  Through discipline and commitment, we help lay the foundation for the productive future of young people.

THEMBA NGALEKA

JUNIOR ACCOUNTANT

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Themba has a Degree Baccalaureus Technologiae: Taxation from Cape Peninsula University of Technology as well as a National Diploma: Accounting from CPUT. He has worked as an Expense Clerk at Pick n Pay, a bookkeeper at Solar Capital (Pty) Ltd and served at the SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service trust as a Senior Creditors Clerk. Before that he worked at the National Association of Child Care Workers for 2,5 years. He joined ASSITEJ SA in January 2022.

FAYE KABALI-KAGWA

PROJECT MANAGER & CRADLE OF CREATIVITY CURATOR

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Faye is a cultural curator, arts coordinator, and writer with a keen focus on youth voices. In 2023 Faye was the curator for the Cradle of Creativity Festival which took place in Johannesburg and featured 27 productions from South Africa and abroad. She runs the Unlocking Learners’ Creativity project in the Western Cape, as well as heading the 10Children project, amongst others. Faye was named one of the Mail & Guardians Top 200 Young South Africans in 2021. She has an uncanny ability to read the pulse of the cultural zeitgeist and builds interventions that go beyond artistic output and is interested in audience as engaged contributors to her work.  Faye’s writing has included reflecting on contemporary theatre and their commentary on land reformation, same-sex schools and coded patriarchy as well as reminiscing on important ephemeral cultural spaces. Faye has been published in the Mail & Guardian, New Frame, and Culture Review. 

TSHOLOFELO SHOUNYANE

ASSITEJ SA EDUCATION COORDINATOR

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Tsholo has a BA Drama Degree from the University of Pretoria, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and completed a Copywriting for Online Marketing short course, University of Cape Town. She is a creator: a theatre practitioner-facilitator, author, doll-maker (and maker of other things), puppeteer, storyteller, educator and Child Enthusiast. She has worked at ASSITEJ SA since 2018. She is also the creator of Nonki Nice Plush Toys, a soft doll company that makes toys for young and old audiences alike and offers live storytelling with puppetry and workshops for children.  This is how she adds to the creating of Africa and its rich culture. Making our world a colourful place – one child, one doll, one story at a time.

SIYANDA BUTHELEZI

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Siyanda has established herself as an Arts Administrator who is passionate about addressing and educating about the social, economic and cultural ills of young Arts Practitioners growing in creative spaces. She holds her Bachelor of Arts in Live Performance that she obtained at AFDA. She joined ASSITEJ SA in 2022 as an Intern Administrator, through this she assists in the administrative duties that enable children in communities and schools access the arts. She also facilitates young Arts Practitioners on Arts Administration. Siyanda’s core skill set are arts administration, arts management, festival and production coordination and soon to be established in Cultural Policy and Management. She is dedicated to promoting and administering the arts and furthering the reach of artists.

BONGA MOKOENA

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Bonga graduated from the University of Johannesburg with a BA in Film and Television. During his studies, he specialized in Communication, Theory, and Applied Film and Television. Since July 2022, he has been working as a graphic designer and is also a part of the marketing and communication team at ASSITEJ SA. In addition to his regular job, he works independently as a photographer and videographer.

EZRA WALTERS

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Ezra matriculated in 2005 at Steenberg High School and then went on to do a Financial Management course at False Bay College in Fish Hoek, where he passed N4-6 from 2016 – 2017. He then did a FirstRand FirstJob Financial Management Internship at Assitej South Africa from April 2019 to March 2020. During this time, he successfully completed a short online course through Damelin College in Introduction to Bookkeeping. He has been employed at Assitej South Africa as an Office Administrator since 01 July 2022 to date. He enjoys working with people and is passionate about Performing Arts & Crafts. He is also a good motivator in his team.

 Our Provincial Coordinators

Through participation, ASSITEJ enables young people to discover their common humanity.

THEMBILE TSHUMA

THEATRE 4 YOUTH, GAUTENG

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Thembile is an Applied Drama & Theatre graduate from Drama for Life (University of the Witwatersrand), percussionist, writer, puppeteer, dancer, musician and Theatre Director. He started working with young creatives in 2003, and has been involved in a number of productions across the SADC region. He has worked with companies like Drama for Life Playback Theatre Company, Themba Interactive, Hillbrow Theatre Outreach Foundation, just to name a few. Thembile is a lover of humanity and he believes that creative art is the core to building creative minds of a nation. His vision is to see every child being given the chance to explore, engage and reflect on their day to day lives without being marginalized or discriminated but given the opportunity to just play. He is a Gauteng Theatre4Youth Coordinator, facilitator and a believer in theatre for transformation and healing.

TALLOWAH SUNTSHA

THEATRE4YOUTH, GAUTENG

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Phindile Fortunate Suntsha is known as “Empress Tallowah or Sista T”. She’s a certified Theta Healer and Journey of my Soul facilitator. Empress Tallowah’s the founder of Ark Soweto, AYG-Accept your Greatness programme, Tallowah Productions (Pty) Ltd, and Soweto Creatives Academy. She founded these to be able to work with communities using the arts for healing and transformation. She’s also the South African ambassador for World Dream Day. She’s worked as a facilitator for Sibikwa, Soweto Theatre, ASSITEJ SA and Clowns without Borders. Qualified in Facilitation (CATHSSETA), PGDA, BA HONS DT, MADT she holds The Marshall Kander Drama for Life Award (HIV/AIDS research through Applied Drama and Theatre 2017). She is the author of “Settling in One’s Heart – Surviving the 2020 global pandemic!”.

KATLEGO GABASHANE

THEATRE4YOUTH, GAUTENG

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Katlego is a cultural and heritage practitioner, with over fifteen years in the arts, culture, and heritage sector, having worked with the Workers Museum and Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre in Sophiatown. She is a drama lecturer and facilitator, currently working with Assitej SA as SEF Gauteng project coordinator and Kickstarter facilitator. She is passionate about creative arts education and practice and has taught Dramatic arts, African Indigenous Music and Arts Management at Rhodes University. She holds a BA (Dramatic Arts) degree from Wits University, and is finishing her Masters in Ethnomusicology from Rhodes. She is also a vocalist and composer, who has been writing and performing for years. Her compositions are mainly in Setswana, Sepedi and isiXhosa, in order to practice and preserve African Indigenous music and language.

KWANELE FINCH THUSI

THEATRE4YOUTH, GAUTENG

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Kwanele Finch Thusi, an accomplished and passionate performer and educator based in Johannesburg, boasts a rich background in artistic coordination, instruction, and academic leadership. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and South African Council for Educators (SACE) certification, he has honed his skills in Drama, Dance, and Choreography, specializing in teaching and orchestrating public events and festivals. With a diverse portfolio, Kwanele has held roles as a Drama and Performance Lecturer at Wits University and Monash University, showcasing his commitment to education. His creative leadership extends to positions such as Head of Department & Production Coordinator at The Bomb Shelter Film Company and Provincial Coordinator for ASSITEJ SA, emphasizing his expertise in both educational and artistic realms. Recognized for his outstanding contributions, Kwanele has secured accolades such as the Thami Mnyele Foundation Artist Award and the ICA Fellowship Award for Dance. With a talent for seamlessly integrating artistic, cultural, and extracurricular elements into educational settings, Kwanele is a driving force in fostering creativity and learning. 

PAULINE DALAIS

THEATRE4YOUTH, KZN

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ASSITEJ SA KwaZulu-Natal Coordinator, Pauline is also an artistic manager, agent, actress, assistant production manager, voice artiste: stage, screen, radio, TV, and Lollipop Lane’s Mrs Singh Singh. Her proven track record of engaging with many high profile people in SA and assisting in cementing relationships for projects/events speaks for itself. She sees great benefit to bringing new and different talent to the arts field. She has a natural ability to make others feel at ease when communicating and coming up with fresh ideas. Her astute ability in communicating has served her well through her working years. She works in various contexts, including as PA for Caroline Smart, doing administration for the artSMart website and running the former ArtStand at the Essenwood Road Craft Market. She is the administration and recital assistant for Friends Of Music. She is also the South African Liaison Officer for director John Foreman, UK based founder of Music Monde, a worldwide music school. She received the 2018 Rising Sun/Radhika Talks Legendary Woman Award for her contribution to the empowerment of women.

TOKI MOHOTO

THEATRE4YOUTH, KZN

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Toki focuses his energies on research, youth mentorship, human rights activism and participating in platforms that advocate for inclusive, qualitative, targeted and sustainable development of individuals and communities. As a former radio producer and host of a talk show, he also lectures and consults in business administration, project facilitation, dialogues and consultancies for heritage and social cohesion. He is a national advisor to the National Arts Council of SA, business manager for KZN Federation of Community Arts Centres, and Chairperson of KCAP. In addition he is the CEO of 1 Reel Films, So2 Ville and chairs a youth-led NGO (EYACO) which focuses on empowering youth and exposing them to scarce skills sectors. He also is the co-founder of AHECO, which works with rural communities, traditional knowledge practitioners, minorities and previously disadvantaged individuals in the fields of agriculture, health & welfare and the promotion of indigenous knowledge systems. He is former cultural ambassador for the Consular General of India in Durban and arts ambassador for the USA Embassy. He sits on the boards of So’2 Ville, African Heritage Collective (NGO), Aheco TV, Aheco Radio, Nanda Sooben Arts Education Foundation, EYACO (Empowering Youth to Act and Change Outcome, NGO) and Road Exchange Pty Ltd, showcasing his commitment to inclusive and sustainable development across sectors.

LETLHOGONOLO NCHE

THEATRE4YOUTH, NORTHERN CAPE

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Letlhogonolo is a dance teacher, choreographer and artistic advisor based in Kimberley in the Northern Cape. He is a winner and first ‘recipient of the ACT ImpACT Award for Dance in November 2015 and also the first prize recipient of the Northern Cape Teachers award for Best Dance Teacher for the NSC 2016 and 2017 consecutively. He is the former BASA Debut programme provincial coordinator and co-facilitator in the Northern Cape. He has a vast experience over 15 years in the arts, leading and coordinating projects for organisations such as Assitej South Africa, South African State Theatre, Moving Into Dance Mophatong, Jungle Theatre, and others. Nche graduated from Moving Into Dance Mophatong in 2009. He enrolled for a Business Course programme with Wits Business School and obtained a certificate in Future Leaders Development in 2019. He is an accredited ETDP SETA facilitator of NQF 5 certificate in Skills Development for Professionals. He is currently the Manager of The Mayibuye Dance Academy and Dance Teacher at St Cyprian’s Grammar School.  He is also the Northern Cape Representative for ASSITEJ South Africa, as well as being the founder and director of a flagship dance festival called the Dance Pages that runs for its 8th year in October 2023.

STYX (LEHLOHONOLO VICTOR) MOKEJANE

THEATRE4YOUTH, FREE STATE

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Styx is a 2006 Market Theatre Laboratory graduate and has an NQF Level4 Arts and Culture Administrator certificate (2007). He has worked in the arts as a project manager, events manager, after school facilitator, arts facilitator, adjudicator, poet, actor, director and singer. He has worked for ASSITEJ SA as a Kickstarter Artist Facilitator from 2015 and is also employed by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (Free State) where he works as the Fezile Dabi Arts and Culture Centre Drama Unit Manager from 2016 to date.

ANGELO MOCKIE

THEATRE4YOUTH, FREE STATE

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Angelo did his undergraduate studies in Drama and Theatre and holds a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Studies, with the focus on Higher Education Transformation through the Performing Arts. He has featured in various professional productions as actor, director, musical director, musician and choreographer. A highlight of his career is working on the musical production The Distant Drum, the story of Nat Nakasa, featuring European violinist Daniel Hope, directed by Jerry Mofokeng. Angelo served on the Free State Arts Festival Board for two years, and was co-artistic director for the Free State Arts Festival Fringe program. He also served on KykNet’s Fiesta Awards Panel.

KEITUMETSE TLOKANA

THEATRE4YOUTH, LIMPOPO

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Keitumetse is an actor by profession, with a BA Drama degree from the University of Pretoria. She has worked on stage, television and film. She has acted on Isidingo and Binnelanders in the early days of her career. She’s recently worked on an Afrikaans short film Met Kind which was showcased at the 2017 Cannes festival. Keitumetse discovered her love for children’s theatre back in varsity when she did Educational Theatre and portraying the character of Happy in the Afrikaans version of Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. She has since worked on a number of children’s theatre as a storyteller while also doing other projects within the arts industry. She joined ASSITEJ SA as a Rep for Limpopo since 2016.

VHONANI EMMANUEL RANTSANA

THEATRE4YOUTH, LIMPOPO

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Vhonani Emmanuel Rantsana, from Makonde, Thohoyandou Limpopo, is a multi-talented professional, serving as a drummer, event organizer, marketing expert, artist manager, project coordinator and arts administrator. He joined the DSAC Business and Arts South Africa Debut Programme in 2017 and was then appointed by BASA as Debut Programme Limpopo Provincial Liaison Ambassador, obtaining a range of courses in arts administration and marketing. As the CEO/Founder of Debig Beats Music, a Musical Theatre Company addressing the lack of theatre facilities in Limpopo, he identifies and supports local musicians. Rantsana is also the Founder and President of the Makonde Art Society, aiming to provide children in Limpopo access to creative arts as an extracurricular program, preserving cultural knowledge. Currently, he serves as the Limpopo Project Coordinator for the ASSITEJ SA Arts4Youth Programme, overseeing 10 organizations and 123 participants. Rantsana’s commitment extends to founding the African Theatre Festival, showcasing traditional music and dance in Limpopo, fostering cultural preservation. His impactful initiatives, including the “Makonde Livhoneni 0984 Vibes” concert which reached 25 000 attendees, demonstrate his dedication to making creative arts accessible to everyone in Limpopo.

NOMAHLUBI NKOSI

THEATRE4YOUTH, MPUMALANGA

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Nomahlubi has a Child Psychology Certificate, and an Entrepreneurship in the Arts certificate from TUT, as well as an Arts administration qualification from CATHSSETA. She was the Siyatentela Active Buddies NPO Project Manager/Founder since 2012. She also serves as the CCIFSA provincial sector leader for Arts education and training. She has worked with ASSITEJ SA since April 2022, as the Provincial coordinator for Mpumalanga.

THAPELO PULE (SISTABOSS)

THEATRE4YOUTH, NORTH WEST

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Thapelo has a Diploma in Computer & Office administration with Working World Business College, and she is currently studying for a Diploma in Project Management with Shaw Academy. Since April 2022 she has worked for ASSITEJ SA as the NW Provincial Coordinator for Arts4Youth. Before that (2019-2022) she was the Arts Activities Manager at Bright Starts Academy, and from 2018-2019, she was the Arts Facilitator for Boys and Girls Clubs of South Africa. From 2005-2018 she was a Dramatic Arts teacher at Thusong Youth Centre, and for 2015-2017 she was also a Programs Manager for the Let’s Read and Write Well Foundation.

THANDUXOLO MKHOYI

THEATRE4YOUTH, WESTERN CAPE

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Thanduxolo (known by many as Thando) is a language and literacy trainer, professional storyteller, children’s author and a director of Masifunde-iilwimi language and training academy. He has performed all over the country and was recently a Storytelling coach and Mentor for Storytellers in the Isitimela Sendaba storytelling project by ASSITEJ SA in collaboration with Play Africa. In 2020 he was appointed as one of the 200 Young Influential South Africans by the Mail and Guardian and currently serves as a Deputy chairperson of the Western Cape LiTASA branch (Literacy Association of South Africa) He also manages a non-profit organisation in Khayelitsha known as Eyentsatshe For The Little Ones Early Childhood Development Project, while working as a coordinator for ASSITEJ SA.

WARRICK FRANK

 THEATRE4YOUTH, WESTERN CAPE

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Warrick is an ambitious, motivated and passionate individual, who is a performing art, film and media graduate with an International Diploma in Performing Art, Film and Media 2008 -2010 from South African Film Institute via City & Guilds of the London Institute. Having a passion for the arts and performance in education, Warrick has gained much success following his passion in dramatic arts as a working dramatist and as a specialist educator / mentor in both the public and private schooling sector. He has taught grades 1 – 12 dramatic arts, creative arts and has extensive experience within the national curriculum statement (CAPS), independent examination board (IEB) and international baccalaureate (IB). Warrick Frank is an international baccalaureate certified teacher in the Primary Years Programme (PYP), who promotes the arts in education and learning. He has also been an East Coast Radio Presenter (2016-2019) and has acted on radio for Lotus FM.

TIFFANY SATERDAGHT

THEATRE4YOUTH, WESTERN CAPE

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Tiffany has done a project management short course with Northwest University and has worked on Karoo Kaarte (a KKNK project) as Assistant project manager/Researcher/Writer from 2021 – 2023. Her duties here have included Social media coordination, Research coordination, Head writer and Facilitator of storytelling evenings, events and workshops. She was also involved in the theatre directing, stage management (particularly sound and lighting), production management, casting and more. Other projects include Awehness Creative Community NPC, Klein Karoo Connect, and Klyntji Art Stories Incubator Programme – Internship. She now works for ASSITEJ SA in the Central Karoo and Garden Route areas.

MASIXOLE HESHU

THEATRE4YOUTH, EASTERN CAPE

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Masixole Zinzo Patrick Heshu hails from Makhanda, Eastern Cape. He matriculated at Nombulelo Secondary School, after which he completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree, majoring in Politics and International Studies, Economical and Industrial Sociology and Drama. He also obtained his honours degree, specializing in Directing and Applied theatre from Rhodes University. He then completed a Masters in Arts, focusing on Creative History methodology. He is a workshop facilitator who has worked for the National Schools Festival, the Eastern Cape Schools Festival, Sci-Fest Africa, Equity and Institutional Culture Unit, Rhodes Alumni and Correctional services. He published a paper for the Journal of Indigenous and Shamanic Studies, on “Makhanda: reflections of the past, present and future.” He joined ASSITEJ SA in 2022.

LUVUYO YANTA

THEATRE4YOUTH, EASTERN CAPE

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Luvuyo is a scriptwriter and facilitator in theatre and performance from Makhanda. He holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Rhodes University. He recently directed Pen(t)s Down Ha Ha!, by Lalu Mokuku, which performed at the 2023 National Arts Festival and CRADLE OF CREATIVITY and won an Ovation award. He is a member of MEQOQO, a Playback Theatre-inspired collective based in the Drama Department. Other highlights of his work include working for Ubom! ECDC as a performer/facilitator. He has worked with award-winning directors such as Rob Murray, Brett Bailey, Janet Buckland, and Andrew Buckland. He has also directed commissioned works for Ubom! ECDC and Rhodes University, collaborating with Prof Alex Sutherland on various community engagement projects. Luvuyo teaches part-time at Rhodes University’s Drama Department, specializing in voice and acting. His collaboration projects include Ukunuka, a forum theatre project that he co-directed with Lalu Mokuku, as well as Zina and the Songbird and Fundisa’s Fabulous Adventure, which performed at the National Arts Festival. In 2021 he performed in Isitimela Sendaba, a storytelling initiative by Assitej SA, that was live-streamed on National Arts Festival online platform.

 Our Board Members

A Board that has a vision and acts with intent – that acts deliberately and compassionately. 

The Board of ASSITEJ is grounded in sustainability and longevity. 

A Board that inspires and is inspired!

Selloane Mokuku

Chairperson

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Selloane Mokuku AKA Lalu, is an experienced theatre maker, storyteller, academic, writer and performer. She has worked with and for young people internationally, through organisations such as UNICEF, Save the Children UK and ASSITEJ. She currently serves as the Chairperson of ASSITEJ South Africa, and is also a member of the ASSITEJ International Executive Committee since 2021. Mokuku’s expertise lies in Applied Theatre, Theatre for Education, Child Participation, and Theatre for Young Audiences. She contributed to a number of award-winning productions such as Animal Farm, in her work as Programmes Manager for Nobulali Productions. Lalu currently facilitates teaching and learning at Rhodes University’s Drama department, focusing on theatre for social transformation. Her research interests are in Applied Drama and Theatre and Translanguaging – theory and performance. Lalu’s broad work values, beliefs and ideologies are captured in a case study she wrote in the book: PHAKAMA: Making Participatory Performance (2018). She is the co-editor of AERIAL 2018 edition where her selected English and Sesotho poems and prose are featured.  She is a co-editor with Dr Dylan McGarry and Dr Kira Erwin on UTHEKWANE: Transgressive and Transformative Theatre in Africa, 2019. She was the coordinator of an interdisciplinary project on democracy; UKUNUKA: FORUM THEATRE PROJECT supported by Open Society Foundation. With Ginni Manning, she co-wrote Dipalo, which won ASSITEJ South Africa’s African Playwriting competition, as well as Pen(t)s Down!, a play for teens dealing with underage drinking.

Ismail Mahomed

Deputy Chairperson

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Ismail Mahomed, Deputy Chairperson of ASSITEJ SA and Director of the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, brings over 35 years of cultural leadership experience. Appointed in 2020, he steered the online presentation of four anchor festivals during the pandemic, emphasizing thought leadership, fundraising, and partnerships. Mahomed expanded the Centre’s offerings with festivals like Artfluence Human Rights Festival and Jazz Freedom Day, boosting financial stability. His achievements include winning awards for the JOMBA! Festival and fostering collaborations. As CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation, he enhanced box office revenue and exposed corruption within the governing council. He was the Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown from 2008 to 2016 and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship Award by Rotary International for the impressive way in which he contributed to the growth and internationalization of the National Arts Festival, as well as a STANDARD BANK STANDING OVATION Award for his visionary contribution to the artistic growth of the Festival. Mahomed’s extensive career spans roles at the U.S. Consulate and managing and transforming the Witbank Civic Theatre. He is also a playwright and contributor to various publications, known for his thought leadership in the cultural sphere. Recognized with numerous awards, including an Honorary Doctorate from Tshwane University of Technology and a Chevalier le Ordre Nationale du Merite (Knight of the Order of National Merit) from the French government, he continues to contribute significantly to South Africa’s arts and culture sector. Mahomed played a key role in securing the hosting of the ASSITEJ International Cradle of Creativity Festival in Cape Town.

Thuto Michael Lentsoane

Treasurer

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Thuto Michael Lentsoane has experience as a corporate leader in development finance, private capital and banking/debt funding in South Africa, Africa and European markets. He is an accomplished financial engineering strategist, boasting a career leading successful technical solutions in diverse sectors, including on renewable energy, power, utilities, and water. Thuto started as a financial services unit head and senior transactor responsible for a business unit in the biggest bank in Africa. His role as the Head of Power and Utilities Business Unit at Standard Bank showcased his prowess in initiating and maturing a project finance unit, contributing to an impressive 12-15% year-on-year growth. Lentsoane’s innovative financial products and leadership in deal origination and closure, exceeding 2 billion rand, were instrumental in catalyzing the alternative utilities industry in South Africa. He then subsequently also built his skills, experience and leadership in venture capital, decentralized finance (blockchain), project finance, development finance, search funding, ESG and private equity. Thuto has also worked as a management consultant in strategy advisory, business engineering and innovation in one of the top management consulting firms in the world. An IE Business School International MBA graduate, he received accolades such as the IE Africa Talent Fellowship Scholarship and the Green Future Leadership Award. Lentsoane’s dynamic skill set, honed through roles at Accenture and Hatch, positions him as a valuable asset for disruptive industries. His language proficiency spans English, Spanish (intermediate), Afrikaans, Sotho, Zulu, Sepedi, Xhosa, Swati, Ndebele, and Tswana. He is Treasurer of ASSITEJ SA with a focus on sustainability.

Janet Watts

Secretary

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Janet Watts, a versatile professional, serves as the Secretary at ASSITEJ SA while pursuing her career as a freelance editor, writer, and company secretary. With a teaching background, she transitioned to arts education, completing courses at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and playing a leading role in the development and management of the Creative Voices arts education programme. Watts co-founded ASSITEJ South Africa in 2007 and continues to contribute as a board member. From 2010 to 2017, she managed Corporate Social Investment portfolios for Tshikululu Social Investments, focusing on the Creative Economy. Her role involved strengthening arts-based organizations across the country. Watts was the Business Manager of Artist Proof Studio and also managed the Keiskamma Music Academy, emphasizing organizational transformation. Completing her Master of Arts in 2019 from the Wits School of the Arts, she delved into teaching methodologies in the arts, advocating for their role as a democratizing force in education. Currently, Watts applies her expertise in grant-making, funding, cultural leadership, and arts administration.

Lindiwe Msiza

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Lindiwe Msiza is a seasoned Change Management Consultant, Leadership & Wellbeing Coach, and Board member at ASSITEJ SA, where she also heads the HR committee. With extensive experience in Organisational Development and post-covid, a heightened focus on workplace healing, Msiza excels in designing catalyst projects. Her innovative approach involves implementing change management strategies and fostering coaching cultures to create dynamic learning environments for institutions. Her impact spans various industries, including Hospitality, Financial Services, Motor, and Platinum Mining, where she averted a wage strike through collaborative change initiatives and managed to secure a five year wage agreement. In the Financial Services sector, Lindiwe currently delivers a comprehensive Leadership and Management Development Program at Revenue Services Lesotho, emphasizing mental health awareness, wellbeing coaching, and empowering leaders for positive change. Her international experience includes working across the SADC region, Asia, Australia, and the USA. As a Co-Chair for the Global Women in Leadership Summit in Boston (2023) and a Board member for ASSITEJ SA, Msiza actively contributes to global leadership discussions and initiatives. With qualifications ranging from Sales and Marketing to Wellbeing Indicator Accreditation, Msiza is dedicated to advancing African leaders, transforming workplaces, and fostering positive change globally.

Obett Motaung

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Obett Motaung, a dynamic Filmmaker, Director, Photographer, and Writer, is the youngest board member at ASSITEJ SA. Recognized as one of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans in 2022, he holds a Master’s in Film & TV and actively participated in the Fees Must Fall Movement as an SRC member at the University of the Witwatersrand. Motaung’s multidisciplinary artistry emphasizes inclusivity, and his work has garnered acclaim, winning awards for his creative and academic excellence. As a filmmaker, Motaung has travelled across Africa, participating in prestigious festivals and competitive arts residencies. Notable works include “Maikano,” “Oath,” “On the Hill,” and “My Playground.” His impactful film “Diphiri Le Makuntu” received widespread recognition and a viewership of 3 million on SABC 1. Beyond filmmaking, Motaung’s writing explores the transformative power of the arts for social change, and he has contribute papers to international academic conferences, and been published in various outlets alongside influential figures like Prof Wally Serote. His commitment to community development, particularly in disadvantaged areas, earned him recognition as one of the top 100 young people by Inside Education. Serving as an adjudicator for esteemed awards, including the Naledi Theatre Awards and the South African Music Awards, Motaung’s advocacy for using the arts for social change is further reflected in his role as an Advisor for the National Arts Council of South Africa, the youngest person in this position.

Omphile Molusi

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Omphile Molusi, a versatile Writer, Director, Producer, and Actor, has been a prominent figure in theatre and TV since 2001 and has been a longtime member of ASSITEJ SA, serving on the board since 2021. As a published playwright with six titles and contributions, including “Theatre of the Native Tongue,” Molusi’s works like “Itsoseng” and “Cadre” have earned global acclaim. His play for young audiences, “Balalatladi,” premiered at the John F. Kennedy Centre in Washington, USA, and continues to feature in South African festivals. Molusi, the Chair of the Fundraising Committee at ASSITEJ SA, received the ASSITEJ International Inspirational Playwrights Award for 2017-2021. Beyond his artistic pursuits, Molusi is a dedicated educator, teaching playwriting and screenwriting at The Market Theatre Laboratory and advising at the UJ Playwriting Laboratory. He conducts international writing workshops, notably for ASSITEJ Brazil. Molusi’s TV contributions include scriptwriting for shows like “Zone 14,” “It’s for Life 9,” and “Scandal!” He founded TsaMmu, facilitating playwriting and screenwriting courses since 2017, and organized the Bodibe Children’s Theatre Festival, expanding access to professional arts in North West. He has been recognized with prestigious awards, which include the Brett Goldin Bursary which took him to the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK to further his acting craft, the Scotsman Fringe First Award, and the Andre Deshields Award for best performance at the Black Theatre Alliance Awards in Chicago, USA, 2010. Molusi brings a wealth of experience to his role as a board member and head of the Fundraising committee

Mamokgatla Lorraine Rakubu

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Mamokgatla Lorraine Rakubu is an accomplished professional with expertise in credit risk and compliance at Standard Bank Agri-Business since November 2013. Her role involves conducting risk assessments, ongoing account management, and enforcing credit conditions. Rakubu possesses strong problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills, coupled with a keen business understanding. She holds a National Diploma in Credit Management, Advanced Diploma, BCOM Honors in Business Management, and ongoing studies towards an MCOM in Business Management. She also holds Certificates in Advanced Corporate Law and Securities Law, 2021 and Labour Relations, 2022. Rakubu’s previous experience is as a Business Online Consultant at Standard Bank and a Project Administrator at Moteko. Her early career includes a role as a Teller and Team Leader Teller at Standard Bank. She has actively engaged in community service, serving as Secretary and Treasurer for various associations as well as Centurion Primary School, and founding the “Indflirt Dignity for Girls” program, and coordinating COVID-19 community support initiatives. Rakubu’s wealth of experience and leadership qualities make her a valuable asset in governance and administration.

Yvette Hardie

Executive Director

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Yvette is a theatre producer, director, educator and advocate, focusing on theatre for young audiences. She founded ASSITEJ SA in 2007, and has served three terms (2011 – 2021) as President of the international ASSITEJ. In these capacities, she creates opportunities for artistic exchange, mentorship, skills development and cross-cultural collaboration, while working to invigorate the SA theatrical landscape with high quality and widely accessible performances. She was Head of Department: National School of the Arts; the producer of the much-toured Hugh Masekela musical, Truth in Translation; and has written DBE curricula and textbooks for Dramatic Arts and Creative Arts. She was awarded the Mickey Miner Award for Lifetime Achievement from the International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) for her contribution to TYA locally and globally.

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