Cultural Producers Programme

14 SA creatives join the Cultural Producers Programme.

14 SA creatives join the Cultural Producers Programme.

In an environment where the creative sector often navigates challenges related to career sustainability, the Cultural Producers Programme steps forward to empower young talent. This initiative, delivered by the British Council in partnership with Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA), Common Purpose South Africa, and the Pan-African Creative Exchange (PACE), aims to bridge the gap in leadership succession within the cultural sector.

The programme focuses on nurturing the potential of fourteen exceptional individuals under the age of 35. These diverse creatives hail from various disciplines including advertising, applied arts, arts management, gaming, and more. They represent all corners of South Africa, spanning the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Mpumalanga, and the Free State.

BASA CEO, Ashraf Johaardien, expressed his enthusiasm for the programme, stating, “The calibre of entries this year was exceptionally high, and the final cohort reflects an exciting mix of creative disciplines. We are thrilled to provide these young leaders with the opportunity to expand their networks, refine their skills, and propel their careers to the next level.”

Through a series of workshops, mentorship sessions, and networking opportunities, the programme equips participants with the tools and knowledge they need to navigate the complexities of the cultural landscape, build sustainable careers, and become future leaders in their respective fields.

Says British Council’s Head of Arts South Africa, Grace Meadows, “Empowering the next generation of creative leaders in Africa is not just a goal; it’s a movement towards infinite possibilities. Here’s to forging deeper connections, unlocking greater opportunities, and inspiring a wave of visionary change-makers within this accelerated cultural producers programme – indeed transformative.”

The Cultural Producers Programme is a testament to the ongoing commitment to fostering a vibrant and sustainable creative sector in South Africa. By investing in the next generation of leaders, the programme paves the way for a brighter future for the cultural landscape.


Meet the 2024 Cultural Producers Programme Cohort:

Alexia Stramrood

Gaming / Generative AI / Cape Town

Born and raised in the vibrant city of Cape Town, South Africa, Alexia is a dedicated video game and interactive media producer, embarking on this creative journey in 2016. Her fascination with video games blossomed during her psychology studies at University of Cape Town, mobilised by her realisation of the stark access to mental healthcare in South Africa. Viewing video games as a potential solution, she delved into the industry by engaging in job shadowing at a local game development company. This transformative experience fuelled her commitment to leveraging interactive media for positive social impact.


Amogelang Pila Ditlhale

Visual Artist / Arts Administrator / Cultural Producer / Pretoria

Amogelang Pila Ditlhale was born on 10 May 1993 in Pretoria. She is a visual artist, crafter, arts administrator, programmes manager and cultural producer with a Diploma in Integrated Brand Communications with Vega – the School of Brand Leadership. She is also a Phakama Women’s Academy graduate and founder of Healer of the World Arts (NPC) North and the Made 4 You Artist Residency. She is skilled in using glass through a glass training workshop with Tshwane University of Technology (done at their Art campus).


Bongani Masela

Software Engineer / Durban

Bongani Masela is a software engineering student at the Independent Institute of Education Rosebank College, who is passionate about using technology to solve problems and create opportunities for African youth. An entrepreneur, he co-founded Pluto Africa, a digital networking platform that won the Intra-Africa Trade Fair (IATF) Youth Hackathon in 2022. He was also the Chief Technology Officer at Gamers Territory, a township-based gaming facility that aims to bridge the digital divide and promote computer literacy. Bongani’s contributions to the tech ecosystem have earned him a place as a Regional Finalist in the Global Startup Awards Africa 2023 and a Top 15 Young Geek in South Africa in 2023. Recently, Bongani’s startup was selected as one of the winners of the African Union (AU) Youth Start-Up Competition and was awarded sponsorship from the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the AU Commission, to participate at the AU Youth Start-Up Pavilion at the 2023 Intra-Africa Trade Fair (IATF2023) that took place at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre. Bongani is driven by his vision of empowering and uplifting his community through technology and social impact.


Colleen Balchin

Cultural Practitioner / DJ / Johannesburg

Colleen Balchin is a cultural practitioner with 14 years’ experience in the music and cultural spaces, focusing on queer and musically obscure, underground scenes.

Based in Johannesburg, they work globally as a DJ and cultural practitioner. Passionate about how club culture brings people together, creating shared, euphoric experiences and prototyping social cohesion, Colleen believes cultural work can be a balm to social pains – in particular, addressing gender-based violence (GBV) and queerphobia. Through their work with P_ssy Party, they mentor women and queer people, and are an advocate within their industry. With BANS, they create musically obscure havens for outliers, breaking the heteronormative cultural landscape with forward-thinking programming and safer space tools.


Fleur de Bondt

Creator / Gauteng

Fleur de Bondt is an ever-evolving creator. She’s showcased her personal work in spaces such as Constitution Hill, and FNB, Cape Town and Turbine Art Fairs, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK), Lizamore and Associates, and Artist Proof Studio. Based in Johannesburg, she actively contributes to the art community, having programme managed Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Talent Unlocked for six years, as well as initiating Facture Sessions, a project uniting isolated artists through free weekly workshops. In 2022, Fleur coordinated the Visual Arts Network of South Africa’s (VANSA) Cultural Leadership Programme and managed Carling Black Label’s #NOEXCUSE Art Against Abuse campaign in 2022. In 2023, she mentored for the Arts and Culture Trust’s (ACT) Nyoloha Scholarship Programme. Fleur is dedicated to cultivating environments that foster artists’ growth and meaningful development as well as feeding her own curiosity in her practice.


Lana Combrinck

Visual Artist / Virginia

Lana received her MA Fine Arts degree in 2017 and her BA Fine Arts degree in 2011 at the University of the Free State. Lana is the owner and founder of ArtC in Virginia in the Free State. ArtC is an artistic company specialising in modern artworks and artwork products, as well as art classes for people from children aged 2 up to adults. Through funding received from the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme, Lana was able to appoint and mentor interns for a four-month period. She was also part of ACT’s ‘Building Blocks’ programme and successfully completed the ACT Building Blocks Masterclasses and Mentorship Programme. Lana also completed a Business in the Arts Workshop presented by Gallery Noko and VANSA.


Menzi Mkhonza

Business Designer / Design Researcher /  Platform Creator / Alchemist / Nelspruit

Menzi Mkhonza was born and bred in Nelspruit/Mbombela where he is a business designer, design researcher and platform creator in the creative community. He also helps up-and-coming creatives to realise their value and true potential by sharing resources and giving them a platform to share ideas that shape and cultivate creativity. Menzi believes that learning requires an open mind and leads to an ‘unlearning’ or emptying oneself to understand. He is also an advocate for consistency and self-will.


Mogale Sedibe

Author / Northern Cape

Mogale Sedibe is a spoken word artist and children’s author from South Africa. ‘His Thoughts’ is his debut poetry chapbook, published by Ink Sword Publishers in collaboration with the Northern Cape Department of Arts and Culture. In 2019, he published his first picture book for children through the Puku Foundation in Johannesburg and a second children’s literature picture storybook with Cadbury Dairy Milk SA and Nal’ibali in 2021. He is a 2023 National Heritage Council Golden Shield Awards finalist and Young Heritage Activist 2023. In 2020, he released a Poetry album via Songtradr.com, a United States-based distributor whose music is available on all major music stores worldwide. He was also shortlisted for the Business and Arts South Africa Debut Programme’s Hlanganisa Phase. His masterclasses on digital marketing in the arts and asset-based community development earned him a certificate from the Arts and Culture Trust Building Blocks in 2020.


Mosa Rabannye

Actor / Writer / Director / Botshabelo

Mosa Rabannye is a 25-year-old actor, writer, and director from Botshabelo, Free State. She is a qualified language scientist and media practitioner from the Central University of Technology. She is inspired by interrogating the human condition through various mediums of art. In 2024, she collaborated with Craft Bites International in association with the Playwrights Guild of Canada and Theatre Arts to present her play We Say Our Names When We Pray and she has written screenplays for Creative Careers South Africa.  Her literary work has appeared in Isele Magazine, New Valley Zine, and in 2023 she became a writing fellow at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Studies (JIAS) where she worked on her debut novel, Don’t Let the Blues Settle.  She has graced audiences on stage as a clown with the Bloem Klown Troupe and as an actor at Vrystaat Kunstefees, Performing Arts Centre of the Free State, Civic Theatre and in various short films.


Ntsikelelo Ngaleka

Radio producer / Facilitator / Curator

Ntsikelelo Ngaleka is a radio producer and presenter with Vow Fm (Voice of Wits), hosting The Science Wise Show, a talk hour about science, technology and innovation, airing Tuesdays from 6-7pm. He also hosts a variety show called Area Code (Thursdays and Fridays, from 9-12 midday). He is a conversationalist, debater, facilitator, moderator, speaker and art enthusiast.

He has moderated discussions for the MTNXUJ New Contemporary Awards in 2022, having been part of the mentorship program they ran for the Wits Art Museum. He also interned at the Turbine Art Fair, and consistently features artists and curators in his radio shows as a lover of the arts. He hopes to one day be a world-renowned art curator and radio presenter.


Odwa Bungu

Author / Poet/ Director / Mdantsane

Odwa Bungu is an author and a poet, an artist, as well as the director of a publishing company. He hails from Mdantsane, Eastern Cape. In 2021, he published his first poetry book titled Diluted and in 2022 he published his second book, Doubtless. Most recently, in 2023, he published a book titled Knots in my Wording. Established by Bungu in 2018, Afroglyphics Publishers is a publishing company that aims to publish, market, and exhibit African art with a vision of narrating African stories through the view of African people.


Oratile Mothoagae

Architect / Filmmaker / Johannesburg

Oratile Mothoagae is a Pretoria-based architect and filmmaker. He studied architecture at the University of Johannesburg in 2017 (BTech Applied Design) and the Graduate School of Architecture in 2019 (MTech Prof). He is one of the directors of SSL Studios, a multidisciplinary practice that focuses on film and architecture founded in 2019. Oratile’s research activities reveal the hidden stories of marginalised bodies in archives. This has led him and his colleague to establish an archive to preserve these stories at the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Department of Architecture and Industrial design. Oratile has taught at his alma mater and TUT. He is currently the technical assistant at the Architectural Archives at the University of Pretoria, where he is working on developing research, films, and documentaries on South African and African architecture.


Rae Human

Filmmaker / Festival Curator / Suurbraak

Rae Human started her career in filmmaking having worked in the ranks of production in both the independent film and international studio space since 2012. Her screenwriting achievements include being invited to pitch at content markets such as Durban International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Gotham Film Week. Recently, her editing accolades saw her working in post-production episodes of Spinners – a Showmax and Studio Canal+ co-production. Since being involved in the field of impact producing, she has relished the opportunity to be the schools campaign facilitator on the Murder in Paris documentary. Human founded the Roots Film Festival in 2023 through the support of the Encounters Film Festival and National Film and Video Foundation, which saw a revitalisation of community bioscope culture in both urban and rural spaces. With the success of the Festival’s maiden run, she hopes to build on the ethos of the event in the years to come.


Yusra Peters

Writer / Director / Producer / Activist / Cape Town

Yusra Peters is a film writer, director, producer, and activist, born and raised in Hanover Park on the Cape Flats. She believes film has the power to bring awareness and encourage positive change in the world. Yusra has worked in the film industry for five years, and some of her latest work was as Head of Communications, Digital Marketing, and Film Training for non-profit iKasi Creative Accounts on CBS and the film Afrika Shaka Zulu. Yusra has also designed a 24-minute drama film based in Hanover Park tackling everyday challenges and inspiring the community to take on a different and more positive perspective about themselves. Her vision is that talent from the community will be trained to star in the film and youth from the community will be trained to work behind the scenes, with catering, locations and transportation services all coming from within the community, making this project a community-serving film.


About the programme partners:

Commissioning Partner:

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the United Kingdom (UK) and other countries through arts and culture, education, and the English language. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence, and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise.

We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. These connections lead to an understanding of each other’s strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained.

Through our Creative Economy work in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), we offer a suite of support to young people, to facilitate their learning and economic advancement ambitions. We work in an integrated way to build capacity, through learning, networking, and other support that young people need to start or grow their creative enterprises or get new / better jobs in the Creative Economy sector.


Implementation Partners:

Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA) was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative between government and the private sector, as part of a strategy to secure greater involvement in the arts from businesses operating in South Africa and built on the values of collaboration, innovation, diversity, agility, and integrity. BASA champions business investment within the arts, cultural and heritage sectors, and is the connector catalyst for both businesses and the arts, driving focused and sustained partnerships by unlocking shared value and fostered social cohesion. We are committed to ensuring the relevance and sustainability of the arts in society by offering innovative programmes providing and supporting knowledge transfer, skills development, and training within the cultural and creative sectors. In this way, BASA provides agency and access for the arts sector to support its engagement with the business sector, helping to make creative organisations ‘opportunity ready’. For more information, please visit https://basa.co.za/.

Common Purpose is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1989 that develops leaders who can cross boundaries. We inspire and enable leaders to solve complex problems both in organisations and in society.  We equip leaders to lead people with different perspectives – from different geographies, generations, sectors, specialisations, backgrounds, and beliefs. We deliver face-to-face and online leadership programmes for multiple generations of leaders: from students in universities to senior leaders at the peak of their careers. For more information, please visit https://commonpurpose.org.

Pan-African Creative Exchange (PACE) is an organisation focused on increasing the global reach of Africa’s contemporary arts industry and contributing to the continent’s development of future work. PACE challenges the status quo of the discourse around African/diaspora artistic work, advocates for equal opportunities & promotes a more equitable representation of creative expression on the global stage. PACE functions as a Pan-African & international partner and links the CPP to a UK-based team of professionals from different organizations in the arts & cultural sector. https://www.panafricancreativeexchange.co.za/


Sinenhlanhla Mdiya
sinenhlanhla@basa.co.za
BASA
http://www.basa.co.za

14 SA creatives join the Cultural Producers Programme.
14 SA creatives join the Cultural Producers Programme.