The CEO of the South African State Theatre, Dr. Sibongiseni Mkhize is proud to welcome acclaimed Dancer and Choreographer, Ms Mamela Nyamza as the newly appointed Deputy Artistic Director effective from 1st November 2018.

Ms Nyamza’s key role will be to provide support to the Artistic Director creatively and administratively. She will be working closely with the Education Youth Children Theatre (EYCT) department, which focuses on the development of young artists in the industry; initiating the development programmes to support the main programme and ensure integration of the overall artistic programme.

The appointment comes at a time when the State Theatre has committed to taking over the Dance Umbrella Festival from 2019. One of South Africa’s biggest dance festivals took a bow over funding battles in March 2018 during its’ 30th edition. Ms Nyamza will be at the helm of the festival as its curator when it relaunches in April 2019.

“I want to express my appreciation to the State Theatre, and particularly the Artistic Director for putting his trust in me. I am deeply honoured. I am sure it was a difficult choice to make, as there are a number of people who also are capable for this position.” says Nyamza.

She says her ultimate vision is to create and direct more work that would reach the most remote areas of SA to unearth young, raw talent in the art of dance and performance arts in general.

The State Theatre’s Artistic Director, Mr Aubrey Sekhabi expressed his excitement about this appointment and the skill set that Nyamza will bring to the organisation.  “Mamela will also help us to generate and capture new audiences for the theatre. Her appointment comes at a time when the theatre is developing female artistic directors. There could not have been a better time,” says Sekhabi.

The 42-year-old acclaimed dancer and choreographer was born and bred in Gugulethu township, near Cape Town. In 1993 she completed her matric at Fezeka High School in the hometown. She then enrolled with Pretoria Technikon, now called Tshwane University of Technology, to obtain her National Diploma in Ballet.

This will not be the first time for Ms Nyamza to work for the State Theatre. From the years 1997 to 2000, she was resident dancer and choreographer for the theatre. Besides being a freelance artist in her career, for the previous three year she sat on the Advisory Panel in Dance for the South African National Arts Council (NAC).

Her immense contribution to dance and the arts broadly saw her being the first dance artist to be chosen as the Featured Artist at the 2018 National Arts Festival in Makhanda. Other accolades include being Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance in 2011, Oprah Winfrey Women of the Year (2013), Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans for Arts and Culture (2009) and many more.