Yaela Orelowitz graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Johannesburg in 2010. During this time she spent a year at Rhodes University in Grahamstown studying Drama and became a Licentiate of Speech and Drama teaching through Trinity College London. After working as an assistant drama teacher for five years, Yaela opened a private School of Speech, Drama & Oral Communication in Johannesburg. In addition to teaching, Yaela has worked extensively in the field of Public Speaking and educational theatre performance.
Yaela is ecstatic to be joining Drama For Life and studying further in her field of interest: Drama Therapy
Linda Gabriel is one of the crop of exciting female spoken word artists to emerge out of Zimbabwe. Bilingual, her linguistic versatility is forged into poems written in either English or Shona, depending on which language effectively expresses what issue. She started performing poetry in high school and has since participated in major literary events in Zimbabwe, East Africa, the rest of southern Africa and Europe. She uses her poetry to address day to day issues and voices more for the females from her community.
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.
, who was born in the northern part of Namibia is a theatre actor, director, playwright, singer and performing arts researcher. His self-penned and directed theatre and musical work includes, Shebeen Queen, My Koek Is Moeg, The Chants of My People and The Forgotten Children. Jacques works extensively with Namibian NGOs and community-based projects in which he explores various arts based methods. He has worked in areas of gender and feminism, human rights, freedom and democracy as well as cultural promotion.
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.
Thembile Tshuma, is an actor, dancer, director, percussionist, musical director and composer, choreographer and puppeteer. He has been in the arts industry for the past 10years where he has been a stage and television actor, script writer, dancer and choreographer. Grew up in Bulawayo, the hub of the arts in Zimbabwe, but now based in South Africa since 2008. The Leo currently based in Johannesburg has been a facilitator and holds a “trainer of trainers” certificate from The United Nations Children's Fund - UNICEF since 2006. He loves teaching his peers to become educators themselves. He is passionate about writing and directing and enjoys engaging with people and seeing his work have an impact on them. Thembile has been involved with theatre groups at the Hillbrow Theatre and is the artistic director of Royal Vibrationz marimba band which is the outstanding marimba group in the region. He also helps facilitate drama courses at the Supreme Educational College who were the Inner City High Schools’ champions in 2010 in Johannesburg. In 2004, he was a nominee in the Zimbabwe National Arts merit awards.
Courage Zvikomborero Chinokwetu obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in Theatre Arts, Literature and Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe in 2008. She has been involved in several arts for social action projects, including the British Council’s Identity and Diversity project which explored themes of ‘homelessness and displacement’ in Zimbabwe. She was selected to represent Zimbabwe at the International Identity and Diversity Youth Conference held in Zambia in 2007.
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.
Wendy obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts at The University of Zimbabwe in 2010. Soon after school she was employed by a local NGO called Patsime Edutainment Trust where she developed a love for Theatre for Development. While attached to Patsime, Wendy studied and attained an Executive Certificate in Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation with The University of Zimbabwe.
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 Mnyandu is a 29 year old human development practitioner from KwaZulu Natal, with an exceptional natural gift in communications. His home is at Umgababa, an area under the Ethekwini Municipality. Majesty began his education in KZN and later moved to Johannesburg where he completed his high school and furthered his studies.
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.
In 2008 Naadiya Shaik Omar studied at the University of Johannesburg majoring in Psychology and Sociology. It was then that she discovered Drama Therapy and decided that it was an avenue she would like to explore.
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 is a multidisciplinary artist in the field of theatre. She is a writer, performer and designer. Her design credits include: Sizwe Bansi, Closer, The Pen, and Taproots. Her television credits include: “The Con Man” , “Gspot GP” and “Society”.
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.
Rozanne Myburgh is currently an honours student in drama therapy, a field that she is increasingly passionate about. To pay her rent and keep her tummy full she is working as a freelance digital editor for Vrouekeur magazine overseeing all their web and social media activities. She also works as a graphic designer, web designer, photographer and journalist on a freelance basis. She won a Caxton Magazine award for best designer in 2011. Her background is in the media industry but her passion is drama. Another passion of hers is movement and physical theatre. She has been doing Biodanza for the past 5 years and also does weekly Expressive Movement classes with drama therapist, Sian Palmer. She completed her official studies in Communication and Graphic Design in 2004 but sees herself as a student for life because she believes that no one should ever stop learning.
Chelsey, 26 years of age, was born and bred in Johannesburg, South Africa. During her life journey she has lived and schooled in Dubai and White River, Mpumalanga.
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’.
Zimele Phillip Ndhlovu is a vibrant theatre practitioner who grew up in Tembisa, started acting at the age 11 in a school drama group, in 1997 he joined Township Mirror Theatre Group found by the late Miss Ndazana Masilela and directed by Oupa China Malatjie. Toured Gabon, Cameron, Botswana and Mozambique. He also performed across South Africa in different productions as an actor, dancer and choreographer.
In 2004 he found Makubenjalo Performing Artists in which he is the current Artistic Director. He wrote and directed theatre productions namely "Angekenilibise", "The Game" and currently working on:- "Nomadlozi" which is a Musical-play. For all the theater shows and organizational projects he has done, he has been funded by the Gauteng Department of sports, arts, culture and recreation, and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.
Zimele is a theater maker and director. He specializes in Drama, African music and dances as a composer and choreographer. He is also a facilitator/trainer working for Themba Interactive in correctional centres, schools and various communities.
Currently enrolled with DFL for his advanced diploma in applied Theatre and performs in "Through Positive Eyes", a DFL/Themba/University of Carlifonia production that has moved hearts of many.
Bulelwa Bongekile Ndaba, affectionately know as BB, is a Johannesburg born female artist who believes that art chose her. To her art makes sense, it breathes life, gives life and restores humanity. BB has been on stages in and around Gauteng, Eastern Cape, and Europe. Along the way of pursuing her life of acting she fell in love with dance and acquired a skill for writing and arts management.
Her passion and nurture for people has also made her acquire a knowledge and develop a love for social change and responsibility. Currently she is doing her Honours program majoring in Drama Therapy.
Hanna is currently an Honours degree student at wits, looking forward to do her Masters in Drama Therapy, and become an active drama therapist.
she holds a Unisa Psychology Honours degree(2001)as well as a BA degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Tel-Aviv University(1980).
She believes that the South African context should aim at developing the drama therapy profession, and promote its interventions in every South African walk of life;in its communities,organizations,institutions schools, work place and amongst individuals as well.that will promote a healthier more homogeneous and happy rainbow nation.
Nolan Africa has been working in the creative arts field for the past decade as an Educator, Actor, Creative Director and Facilitator. While contracting in project management for Educational Theatre projects at Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town, he worked with Zakheni Arts Therapy Foundation as a Drama Practitioner on an Educational Drama Therapy workshop programme. At the same time he was volunteering as a creative director for a community youth organization called All Roads. During his time there he directed various performances, one of which was a musical that travelled the country. His facilitation skills were enhanced when he was given an opportunity to facilitate drama workshops at two performing arts schools in the USA while also attending workshops there. He directed and performed for Dance for Life. He worked as an actor and facilitator for Soundtrack for Life for a period and worked as an Arts and Culture, and Drama Educator at three schools in Cape Town, including one of the Arts Focus Schools in the Western Cape. He is currently at Drama for Life at the University of Witwatersrand doing his Honours in Drama Therapy.
Mmabatho is an actor whose skill was honed at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Dramatic Arts. In her acting career which spans almost twenty years, she appeared in numerous highly acclaimed television and stage productions, some of which she was involved through workshops. Mmabatho always avails her time and skill to the new talent in the industry. She is Executive Director at Digital Broadcast Hub, an audio-visual and electronic media production company. She is also a Founding Director of National Broadcast Institute, a non profit digital television and broadcast media training and development program.She has recorded many radio commercials, educational radio projects, public service announcements and radio plays as a voice-over artist. Mmabatho is also a seTswana language script translator. Mmabatho is also a registered Assessor of arts , culture and media qualifications within MICTSETA and she sits on the advisory Panel for Theatre and Musical Theatre of the National Arts Council. She holds a bachelar’s degree in Dramatic Arts and is currently studying towards her Honors in Drama Therapy.
Linda was born and raised in the Eastern Cape in the small town of East London. She started her schooling at the age of four at one of the only all girls schools in East London. Moving from Clarendon Preparatory, Clarendon Primary and finally completing her matric at Clarendon High School. She fell in love with music and dance from the age of four where she attended ballet classes and played in the various school bands. Her love and passion for ballet carried on all the way into University where she is now a fourth year Physical Theatre student at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Music, her second love continues to influence her drama performances and is one of her favourite hobbies. She continues to sing and play the saxophone in her spare time. Linda moved to Johannesburg in 2010 where she qualified to do a degree in dramatic arts at the University of the Witwatersrand. This has given her the opportunity to work with various directors such as Greg Homann,Warren Nebe, Dominique Gumede, Mwenya Kabwe etc. and choreographers such as Bailey Snyman, Sonia Radebe,Alfred Kunutsor etc. Working with such experienced people in their fields has allowed Linda to gain a large deal of experience and focus. Even though Linda is a dedicated student she still manages to get involved in all the drama activities that come her way.
She has been a scholar of Drama for Life since 2011. This year Linda has taken on two Drama for Life majors, Applied Drama and Theatre and Dramatheraphy. Together with Physical Theatre, her third major, these two subjects form powerful tools which Linda aims to use to one day work with young children as one of South Africa's top. Drama Therapists.
Pearl Qhobela is a budding, young academic who is also a lover of Physical Theatre. Her recent physical theatre work was an exploration of the idea of consciousness (awareness) and matter. She has a particular interest in the study of Vedic philosophy and meditation on the Maha Mantra. Her passion for performance and psychology has led her to pursue a career in Dramatherapy research and practice in South Africa.
Zola Nombona is a 21 year old born in the Eastern Cape performer who is involved in the field of Theatre Acting, Screen Acting, music and Dance. Nombona is currently doing her honors degree in Dramatic arts majoring in Applied Theatre Studies and Drama Therapy. She has had screen appearances in shows such as Intersexions, Mzansi Love stories and a movie called Nothing for Mahala. Nombona is a Drama For Life scholar who is passionate about using drama in education and therapy spaces.
Evans has been in the entertainment industry for 11 years as a Scriptwriter, Producer, Director, Photographer, Arts Manager and facilitator. Initially he wanted to only stick to scriptwriting, producing and directing for theatre and film, but found himself in situation where he was diversifying into different services and business interest, buts till driven mostly by passion. During his two years of acting he realised that his heart lies in scriptwriting, producing and directing. In 2003 Evans started his own production company Nerve Entertainment, of which he was the Artistic Director. The services offered are Actors & Models Management, Theatre Production, Film Production and Events Management, and that’s when He fully focused on my scriptwriting, training/mentoring actors then got into producing and directing which was a natural progression for him. Later on he restructured his company as he was also including models management and photography. And now the company is known as Nerve Models, which solely focuses on models management. Evans picked up interest in photography and that was sparked by the bad quality most photography studios offered models. So he got into it mostly to do fashion photography but He's grown into different types of photography. Mathibe is currently doing his honors degree under Drama For Life in applied drama and theatre at university of Wiwatersrand (Wits) at the same time. He’s currently working on a film, theatre productions which he's writing and directing and do photography work as always. for more information about him please visit his website http://www.evansmathibe.com
My name is Thoriso, a name of Tswana origin meaning “Praises”. Born and bred in Pretoria. I’m a very well spoken, hardworking, spontaneous yet grounded young lady. I’m always ready for a challenge and willing to learn from everyone around me. If one would ask me to describe myself in one sentence I would say I’m like a tainted glass of different colours, because of the many different platforms I’m set for. I have a passion for acting, presenting, stage production, children, ministry as well as empowerment of young ladies. I’m currently doing my 3rd year at Wits University. In this period, I’ve gained experience in multiple acting techniques (both theatre and television), acquired the skill in stage management and a growing passion for Applied Drama and Theatre. Working with different directors has taught me that one has to be passionate about their career in order to overcome challenges, to never be afraid of growing slowly and allow every person you come across to be your teacher. I also work with the Wits Volunteer Programme (WVP), which is a programme that gives students an opportunity to make a difference in communities and learn more about people, while being creative and ingenuous in helping others. I believe volunteerism is a culture every individual should be part of. One of the main reasons I volunteer is to inspire others to give. I volunteer because there is so much fulfilment in seeing another person’s needs met. Apart from being chosen amongst hundreds of applicants to go on a WVP student exchange programme to volunteer at an English medium school in India in 2012, I also run my own project called Diary of Esther. Diary of Esther is an independent, non profitable organization which collects toiletries for homes. In the past 2 years we have partnered with Love in Action community centre, and distributed toiletries to the young girls. We have since then incorporated the giving of clothes and our recent initiative holding of workshops. Giving back is not only in a mere form of materials but also knowledge. Our recent workshop was the Career Day, which was hosted in Pretoria North, and had invited the learners from Love in Action as well as 3 different schools from this region. "You get the best out of others, when you give the best of yourself" Harvey S. Firestone.