Yaela is ecstatic to be joining Drama For Life and studying further in her field of interest: Drama Therapy
Besides being a spoken word artist, currently her focus is on the development of arts in Africa and she is working with Goethe Institut, Alliance Francaise and African Synergy Trust. She curates festivals, coordinates artistic events, facilitates for collaborations between artists and cultural exchange programs, runs poetry slam projects in various communities etc.
Jacob-Jacques Mushaandja Sakaria
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies and Performing Arts from the University of Namibia and he recently completed his Master’s thesis in Drama which investigated Organizational Theatre as a form of Applied Theatre in the Namibian context, a case study of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation. His other research interests include performance studies, cultural indigenous performances, arts development and various aspects in Applied Drama.
Courage participated in several festivals in Zimbabwe, including the Harare International Festival of the Arts in 2011, as a venue manager and the Zimbabwe Youth Festival in 2011 and 2012 as the administrator. She obtained a certificate in acting from the Reps Theatre in Zimbabwe.
Courage is passionate about gender and community development and has coordinated a gender programme known as Sisters in Solidarity, which aims to bridge the huge capacity gap between the participation of women in social and development platforms in a male-dominated youth sector in Zimbabwe.
In 2012 she successfully completed an Honors Degree in Applied Drama and Theatre under the Wits Drama for Life Programme. As a result, she has been accepted her to study for a Master’s Degree under the same programme. For Courage the Drama for Life journey has been an exciting, insightful, experiential and empowering platform for engagement in issues of social transformation through the use of drama.
She has also engaged with Savannah trust on a consultancy level. The task was to carry out an End line Evaluation for their project titled ‘Fostering Democracy, Human Rights and Civic Participation’. She completed her Honours Degree in Applied Drama and Theatre at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2012. Drama for Life has introduced her to revolutionary ways of applying the arts to real life situations and getting people to dialogue about problematic issues.
She is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Applied Drama and Theatre, and is looking forward to an academic year that is filled with constant reflection for her personal growth as well as for her practice.
Oluwadamilola Apotieri-Abdulai hails from Isale Eko Area of Lagos State Nigeria. With the royal blood running through his veins from his paternal side, Damilola discovered his acting skills through childhood moonlight improvisation as early as age 2. By now he has featured in over 25 series of Television Drama, 5 Movies and over 50 stage performances as an actor and directed a couple of plays.
He graduated with the 1st Chancellor’s Award for “Student who consistently showcased Creativity and Innovation” from Redeemer’s University. He has 2 plays to his credit titled “THE INVISIBLE…Story of the street kids” produced in 2012 in 4 states in Nigeria with over 10,000 audience members.
Damilola also runs a charity named Media Advocacy and Development Initiative (MADinitiative) which aims at using Theatre and Media as a tool for Advocacy and National Development especially with issues that affect children, women and young people (www.madinitiativeng.org). He badged his 1st and 2nd degree in Theatre Arts from Lagos State University and Redeemer’s University Nigeria respectively and hopes to progress to a Masters and PHd level so as to make impact in the academics.
Majesty obtained a diploma in media studies from Damelin and later attained a higher diploma in Community Leadership from Rhema Bible College.
Majesty continued to work with various human development organizations around Johannesburg covering development areas like street children rehabilitation programmes and anti-xenophobia campaigns.
In 2007 he was involved in the production of a TV documentary for SABC 1. In this production Majesty featured as an associated producer and presenter. He also worked as an assistant producer in the documentaries UMOJA and Realities Beyond Fame.
In 20 12 Majesty successfully completed his advanced diploma in Dramatic Arts from the University of Witwatersrand and is currently an Honours students whose research focus is the redundancy of elderly and veteran artist.
Naadiya Shaik Omar
In 2009 Naadiya transferred to the University of the Witwatersrand where she attained a Bachelor of Arts in Performing and Visual Arts (BA PVA). During this time she concurrently majored in Psychology and Television Studies. In 2012 she did her Honours in Drama Therapy while working part time as a celebrity PA on the popular soap opera Generations. She currently works at Themba Interactive and is involved with setting up Applied Drama and Theatre interventions at several orphanages in Johannesburg.
The DFl scholar would like to obtain a Master’s degree in Drama Therapy as well as establish her own Applied Theatre programme for the at-risk youth. DFL provides her with the ideal platform to realize her goals and to utilize her exceptional skills in human development to help people.
Onthatile Peaches Matshidiso
She has participated in Sex Actually festivals as ‘Nena’ in Khutjo Green’s “Revolution between my Thighs” (2012) and as a mask performer with Roberto Pombo in her self-created “ In the Tearoom” (2010).
Onthatile teaches design and visual literacy at the Market Laboratory. Currently a Masters Student in DFL, her research interests lie in post-traumatic stress disorder, migration and intimate relationships. Onthatile also works as a co-host for the DFL radio show Life.Beats that is on air every Monday from 7pm-8pm.
Chelsey May Orsmond
Chelsey is currently working at Themba Interactive-Initiatives for Life. She is a Project Officer for the Safe Parks project (working with care workers and orphaned and/or vulnerable children), she coordinates Monitoring & Evaluation training and she is a trainer/facilitator and applied drama facilitator at Themba. She has facilitated in correctional centers and with in and out of school youth. She has also performed in various shows for Themba Interactive.
The social challenges/topics she enjoys exploring include: race and identity and race relations, wellness and addiction and trauma. During her Honours year in Psychology her thesis aimed to evaluate a playback theatre performance in relation to perceptions of race and racism amongst students at Wits University. Chelsey continues to be fascinated with race, race relations and racism specifically as it is an ever repressed or rationalized topic. In 2011 she conceptualized an idea for a production which focused on interracial relationships: ‘Love Collision’. Alongside her colleagues (Lesiba Komelane and Bongani Ntshingila), she wrote, marketed and performed in ‘Love Collision’ for the DFL Sex Actually Festival.
One of her secret passions and talent is stand-up comedy. She wishes to one day become a drama therapist and a budding stand up ‘comedienne’.