Charles J. Fourie is a multi-award-winning writer and director working cross the genres of performance arts, television and film. Fourie staged his first play as a drama student at the Windybrow Theatre in 1985, and went on to receive the Henk Wybenga bursary. Since the early 90’s he has written and staged over 60 critically acclaimed theater plays in South Africa, the United Kingdom and USA. For radio he has written several radio-dramas broadcasted on the SABC and BBC (UK). In 2016 he was a recipient of the South African Academy of Science and Arts Medal of Honor. His play The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife is currently a set work for Grade 10 learners in South Africa. More recently he created two documentary films around the healing power of herbs and foraging as a food source. His latest project as part of his JIAS fellowship is focused on the research and development of performance narratives involving artificial intelligence, and the adaptation into Afrikaans of the 1920’s Czech science fiction play R.U.R.
Victor Peterson II’s (PhD, King’s College London) research centers on Articulation theory–how relations of subordination and dominance emerge–as well as global conceptions of blackness and the sound of social movements. His monograph, Black Thought: a Theory of Articulation, is currently under contract with Routledge’s African and African Diaspora Series. A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he has also published peer-reviewed articles in The Journal of Black Studies, The CLR James Journal, and others. He teaches at The New School and New York University.
Janeke Thumbran is a lecturer in the History Department at Rhodes University. She has a PhD in African History from the University of Minnesota. Her monograph, “From Stellenbosch to Pretoria: (Re)-Locating the ‘Coloured Question’ (1932-1990)” examines how the apartheid state relied on the disciplines of social work and sociology to cement racial categories, particularly the ‘coloured’ category. Janeke will be working her monograph during her stay at JIAS.
Bongani Madondo is a writer, public arts producer, and filmmaker. He has over 25 years experience as a journalist (columnist, profile writer, features, section head, and media trainer). Madondo’s scholarly concerns intersect within, and between The Dialectical (Dis) Harmony Between Liberal Philosophy, and Radical Humanism, Digital Identity Construction, Performance Arts Photography Theory, and his coinage “Raw-Kin-Roll as Part of indieGenius Healing Systems.”
He has been the recipient of writing/research fellowships at the Katzen Centre for the Arts at the American University, Washington DC, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, and the ICA (University of Cape Town) Live Arts. One of his three books “Sigh, the Beloved Country” has been long/short listed for several awards including Humanities and Social Sciences, as we as the UJ Literary Award.
Madondo’s monographs on Photography, The Politics of Style, African Roots of Punk, have appeared in publications such as Haus Kunst der Welt, and MoMa (Warsaw)’s Geographies of Collaboration, Transition, Aperture, and the Berlin Biennale. He is currently exploring the history of Dolly Rathebe in Photography, and in Motion Picture”, for a project: “The Woman Who Invented BlackIs Beautiful.”
Primarily, and ultimately, I’m a storyteller (a student of story sharing), working in migratory modes of fireplaces. around the world. Madondo in an interview with Radio France International
Mphuthumi Ntabeni’s debut novel, the Broken River Tent, won the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize 2019. He’s trained in built environment, reads literature, history and philosophy. He frequently writes for different national and international publications. He’s a frequent contributor in particular to the NLSA (Bulletin of the National Library of South Africa). Ntabeni also maintains a column in a South African national catholic weekly newspaper, The Southern Cross. He would like to us the JIAS period to write a draft for Book II (The Marked Men) of historical novel planned trilogy (The River People). In its entirety the trilogy aims to look into the history of amaXhosana through the prisms of: War, Spirituality and Politics. The Broken River Tent was the first installment of the trilogy that looked into the Frontier Wars of the 19th and 20th century through life of the Xhosa chief nkosi Maqoma.
Sylvia Croese is an urban sociologist and senior researcher based at the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning at the School of Architecture and Planning of the University of the Witwatersrand. She works on urban politics, policy and governance through the lens of housing, land, urban infrastructure, mobility and knowledge co-production, on which she has published widely, including two edited books. Her time at JIAS will be dedicated to developing her first single authored book project, building on her extensive research on the dynamics of local power, city governance, citizenship and popular politics in post-war urban Angola.
Paul Emmanuel is a contemporary visual artist best known for his prints, drawings and installations.
During his JIAS Fellowship, he will produce a text-based video artwork titled Rising-falling (2021). In this video artwork, he will publicly project one of his existing videos, Remember-dismember (2015) onto the pedestal of an equestrian monument to General Louis Botha.
Rising-falling will extend his interest in how a society remembers its history and how changes in this memory can result in a dismembering of identity. It will explore the symbolism, text and narratives of a monument that continues to use colonial idioms to transmit a distorted perspective of South Africa’s history.
Rising-falling will premiere on his solo exhibition titled Substance of shadows at The University of Johannesburg Art Gallery in September 2021.
Vanessa Wijngaarden is a social anthropologist and political scientist contributing to debates in visual anthropology, tourism studies, multispecies approaches and African studies. Recurring themes in her work include ‘othering’ and (stereotypical) imagery; political aspects of poverty and environmental challenges; and decolonization of (academic) frames of thought. With a passion for reflexive and dialogical approaches, methodological innovation, extensive fieldwork and creative research dissemination, she has made several nominated and awarded documentary films. Her recent feature ‘Maasai Speak Back’ was created under a prestigious Wenner Gren Fejos Fellowship. She teaches Q methodology and works as a certified ATLAS.ti senior professional trainer on three continents. She joins JIAS to work on an interdisciplinary multimedia monography on human-animal relations that contributes to the ontological and species turns as well as cognitive and interspecies justice.
Sifiso Mnisi is a senior a lecturer in the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Johannesburg. He has PhD in Communication Studies which focused on youth subcultures of consumption in South African townships.
He has a wealth of experience in higher education both in the private and public higher education institutions spanning over 10 years. Prior to returning to UJ in 2021, Sifiso worked as Deputy Dean: Research at another institution of higher education. He has attended and presented research papers at a number of local and international conferences. Sifiso is a member of many professional bodies in South Africa and abroad these include amongst others: The South African Communications Association (SACOMM), South African Private Higher Education Association, the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), and The Golden Key International Honour Society.
He has published journal articles and book chapters. He also publishes opinion pieces in mainstream media and often gets invited for TV and radio interviews to talk about issues that relate to higher education in South Africa. His research interests lie in the fields of media, communication, consumer behaviour, gender and cultural studies, decolonization in higher education, and the use of technology in higher education. Sifiso is currently working on a book focusing on youth subcultures of consumption in South African townships.
I am Michelle Kekana former librarian and teacher. I grew up surrounded by books because my mother also taught. As a very young child I was fascinated by how my mother would spend a lot of time starring into white pages filled with black lines, curves and squiggles. I would also take books and sit beside her, completely illiterate pretending to read. Then I started school and was taught how to read. This was life-changing for me. Suddenly the previously meaningless texts came alive. I became literate. Books held stories of love, lament, laughter and loss. Words could transport me to any part of the known world. I learned how to feel sympathy for people who are different from me. Literature taught me tolerance. In learning to read I felt like I had cracked a code. My love of words grew and I would be lost in the imagination of authors. I loved words with a passionate intensity. I am fascinated about how the alphabet can be strung together to form words that spark dialogs and changes internal spaces. Words can be a force for good. I am Michelle Kekana and I am a published essayist who is interested in immortality. I seek to write a work of fiction that will outlive me so that my thoughts never die.
Lerato Gwebu joined the South African Airforce in January 2011 after a gap year hoping to escape the world of uncertainty and instability of the South African Arts Industry. She eventually heeded the call and enrolled for a Musical theatre course at TUT in 2013. Her singing takes one to a place in one’s imagination, as she brings the lyrics alive in any musical genre. She is specifically gifted in Soul and Jazz music. Lerato has incredible tap-dancing skills which saw her being on top of her classes during her training. She trained further at the Duma Ndlovu Acting academy in 2017, trained as an arts facilitator at Sibikwa Arts Academy and is now a JIAS fellow as a playwright. Her acting abilities were identified by Artistic director of the Market Theatre (James Ngcobo) in 2015 at Tshwane University of Technology during her third year. She was cast in letters from Madiba the same year. A triple threat performing Artist with 6 years’ experience in the theatre space.
Some of her most significant and recent work has been her contribution in the Market Theatre’s 45th birthday celebration as both an actress and vocalist. Before that, she performed in an online series called Salute The Playwright in a play entitled Diaparo Tsa Mama by Rorisang Motuba. She was a supporting actress alongside Dr John Kani in The Lion and the Lamb. She had the audience engaged and entertained as she transformed into different characters in such an excellent and refreshing manner. Her performance earned her verbal and social media recognitions by Siphokazi Maraqana and Sibongile Khumalo. She also performed a song by Mama Mirriam Makeba(Gauteng during the 80th birthday of Ntate Caiphus Semenya which got the legend calling her out on stage and appreciating her great performance of the song he wrote. Her performance in Phenomenal women got Mama Sibongile Khumalo singing her praises and passing down words of wisdom.
Today Lerato is amongst the distinguished upcoming young artists. Her professionalism, work ethic and the love for her craft has gained her respect from the elders in the industry within a short space of time. It has afforded her several opportunities which have seen her growing from strength to strength.
Hailing from Johannesburg, Rorisang Motuba studied Drama, Politics and Film & Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, where she starred in and produced a number of student projects. Following her graduation, Rorisang was accepted to the prestigious New York Film Academy and Baron/Brown Studio in Los Angeles, US, where she studied and graduated Magna Cum Laude at the aforementioned institution.
Since her return to South Africa, she has starred in multiple commercials, theatre productions and television series as well as the acclaimed Disney produced film, ‘Queen of Katwe’. As a writer she has worked on popular South African productions such as Isibaya, Ayeye, Isono and Imbewu, for which she received a 2021 SAFTA nomination for her writing. Ms. Motuba was also awarded as one of Mail & Guardian’s Young 200 South Africans in Arts and Entertainment in 2019, a prestigious recognition coveted by many. Following her recent acting stint in The Market Theatre’s Shakespeare Season, Rorisang wrote and directed an original play, commissioned by The Market Theatre that made its debut in June 2021. In July 2021 Rorisang was invited to join the esteemed JIAS Writing Fellowship in Johannesburg.
SIBUSISIWE GUGU MANQELE (30) is a Multidisciplinary artist, born in Northern KwaZulu-Natal (Ulundi), South Africa. She’s an actress, voice artist, writer, director and a voice for many adverts you might have heard on radio and TV. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts Honours, an Honours in Creative Writing and a MA in Film and Television from Wits University. Her accolades include a Postgraduate Merit Award from Wits University in 2019 and winning the Durban Business Woman Association writing competition in 2007.
Sibusisiwe’s screenwriting credits include writing for Gomora and House of Zwide. In her 10-year career in television, she has contributed in Production work for multiple notable productions. She starred in a lead role on the SABC award winning edutainment series INTERSEXIONS 2 in 2013. Her directorial debut was on PASS OVER as an Assistant Director, the play successfully ran at the Market Theatre from the 26th of February 2021 to the 28th of March 2021. She has written two plays YINI? / WHAT IS IT? And Migration of the Heart. She is using her time at JIAS to polish her plays, in collaboration with the Market Theatre. Sibusisiwe Gugu Manqele is passionate about telling authentic, emotionally compelling, universally appealing African stories.