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2015 ImpACT Awards judges announced

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is proud to announce the panel of judges who will adjudicate the 2015 ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals, which takes place on 6 November 2015.

Sibongile Khumalo
Sibongile Khumalo

ImpACT Awards Judge 2015 – Sibongile Khumalo

A group of respected professionals working across a variety of contexts will convene to judge this year’s entries for the ImpACT Awards. The group comprises one of South Africa’s most celebrated songstresses Sibongile Khumalo, Fine Arts and Arts Education Associate Professor at the Wits School of Arts David Andrew, choreographer and Executive Director of the Tribhangi Dance Theatre and ACT trustee Jayesperi Moopen, actress and Soweto Theatre’s Artistic Director Warona Seane and arts and culture development expert and consultant David Thatanelo April.

Invitations for the public nominations for the ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals, sponsored by the Distell Foundation and supported by Sun International close this Sunday – 6 September 2015, and this year Dance was added to four existing categories which are Visual Art, Theatre, Music & Singing and Design.

These awards are presented annually to honour young artists who have reached a professional standing in their discipline, and are within the first five years of their professional careers. The annual ceremony, hosted by Sun International, recognizes and celebrates excellence within South Africa’s arts, culture and creative sectors.

The judges’ selection of this year’s finalists will be announced during media briefings that will take place in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban in late September.

Jayesperi Moopen, who was tasked with convening this year’s group of adjudicators, has earned recognition in the dance world in South Africa for her pioneering efforts of juxtaposing and bringing together of dance to bridge the great cultural divide that is prevalent in South Africa and most countries. Her international work has exposed her to forms of dance from Trinidad, Brazil and Ghana. She was involved in organising workshops for the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Peter Badejo and the Dance Theatre of Harlem in her capacity of Chairperson of Dance Alliance in Gauteng and as Administrator for the Dance Forum in London. She served on the Board of Directors for the Civic Theatre and the Sibikwa Community Theatre Project and was also responsible for writing the Syllabus for Indian Dance for the Gauteng Education Department. In recent years Moopen has been nominated for two awards for Women who have made contribution to Arts and Culture in South Africa.

Marked by an extraordinary vocal gene-pool and passion for making music Sibongile Khumalo is one of the country’s most celebrated members of a musical dynasty. Her singing talents range from opera to jazz, choral music and musical theatre, always grounded by the traditional and folk sounds of South Africa. She has been lauded as one of the great singing talents of her time, and has inspired the creation of new music by South African composers, both in the classical art song as well as jazz genres. She studied singing with her father Prof. Khabi Mngoma and with Sarieta Stern in Cape Town. She has been conferred with honorary Doctorates by Rhodes, UNIZUL and UNISA. Among her many accolades, including various awards for her stage and recorded work, Khumalo also counts The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver (2008) and a 2013 Naledi Lifetime Achievement Award. A consummate professional, she mixes silk, silver and earth in magical combinations; her artistry is massive, glorious and multi-faceted.

Warona Seane’s stage acting credits include: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozakhe Shange (Fleur Du Cap 2002); The Alchemist’s Heart; Nothing but the Truth and Nongogo (Naledi nomination 2006). Kabi Thulo’s Tsela an adaptation of “Waiting for Godot” and Ukutshona ko Mendi: Did We Dance directed by Mandla Mbothwe. Seane’s directing credits include Sacred Thorn, Yes Medem, Nelisiwe Xaba’s solos Fragments of an Orgy, Mute Echoes and Romeo and Juliet, For Colored/Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf, We Are Here and The Mountaintop (Naledi Awards Best Director nomination 2013). She taught at Wits School of Arts and the Market Theatre Laboratory, and has presented at the “Black Women in the Performing Arts Conference: Volume 1” at The Steve Biko Centre. She directed a successful season of Eclipsed by Danai Gurira at Soweto Theatre in August 2014.

David Andrew studied at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, (BA Fine Arts 1985) and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, (H Dip Ed (PG) 1986; PhD 2011). He lectures in Fine Arts and Arts Education courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His interest in the artist-teacher relationship has resulted in a number of projects aimed at researching, designing and implementing alternative paths for the training of arts educators and artists working in schools. He has published visual literacy and arts education related articles in the journals Visual Communication (with Joni Brenner, 2004, and Marcus Neustetter, 2008), Assessment in Education (with members of the Wits Multiliteracies group, 2003) and English Studies in Africa (with Joni Brenner, 2007). His most recent one-person exhibition, Misc: Recovery Room, was shown at the Standard Bank Gallery in 2009.

David Thatanelo April is the Creative Entrepreneurial Officer (CEO) of David April. Passionate about arts and culture development, April uses twenty years of know-how, including a decade of senior management experience, to bring a professional approach to any project he tackles – from fundraising, teaching and skills development to planning, marketing and management. April has shown great leadership skills as a director, teacher, choreographer and lobbyist in South African Dance. In addition he within the performing arts sphere, he has filled the roles of performer, project manager, fundraiser, dance activist, developer of education through dance and movement, dance adjudicator, motivational speaker and reviewer. He has consulted widely with clients in the arts industry, NGOs, government departments and the private sector. April has written numerous articles on dance and dance education and contributed to the Curriculum Development Project resource book for Arts and Culture teachers who will integrate the four arts disciplines – dance, drama, visual arts and music – as part of their teaching.

Winners of ImpACT Awards will be announced at the awards ceremony scheduled to take place at Sandton’s The Maslow on 6 November 2015 and will receive a cash prize of R2 000, a certificate, a spread in Creative Feel Magazine worth over R30 000 and additional PR opportunities that will be generated through the ACT Awards. The ImpACT Award recipients will also get ongoing backing from ACT in the form promotional support in their professional careers.

Featuring prominently as part of the ACT Awards are the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards. These awards are awarded to deserving individuals who have made a profound impact and who have contributed significantly to the enrichment of the arts and culture environment in South Africa during their lives. The categories for Lifetime Achievement Awards are Visual Arts, Theatre, Arts Advocacy, Music and Literature.

The 2015 ImpACT Awards are presented in partnership with the Distell Foundation and Sun International. The ACT Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented in partnership with Nedbank Arts Affinity, Media24 Books, DALRO, JTI, Creative Feel Magazine and SAMRO.

Please follow the link to submit your nominations: or visit

Click here for more information about the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT).


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