Steering and Editorial Committee

The JOMBA! MASIHAMBISANE DIALOGUES steering and editorial committee are:

  1. Clare Craighead – Durban University of Technology (SA)
  2. David Thatanelo April – University of Pretoria (SA)
  3. Gift Marovatsanga – University of Zululand (SA)
  4. Lliane Loots – University of KwaZulu-Natal CCA (SA) [chair and organiser]
  5. Sarahleigh Castelyn – University of East London (UK)
  6. Thobile Maphanga – Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN – SA) [postgraduate student representative and colloquium administrator]
  7. Yvette Hutchison – Warwick University (UK)


Clare Craighead

Clare Craighead is a lecturer in the Drama and Production Studies Department at the Durban University of Technology.  She has an MA, summa cum laude, from the University of KwaZuluNatal, and is currently registered for her PhD in Drama and Performance Studies, through UKZN.  She is company manager to Durban’s FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY and facilitates the JOMBA! Khuluma writing residency as part of the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience.  She also recently joined the Co|lab collective a UAE-Based performing arts company with strong links to its South African roots, there are already plans in motion for JOMBA! Khuluma to make its Dubai debut in 2021.

David April

David Thatanelo April is a director, teacher, choreographer, and lobbyist in the realm of South African dance and performance. With over two decades of experience in the Creative and Cultural industries he has filled a diversity of roles within the performing arts sphere; performer, project manager, fundraiser, dance adjudicator, motivational speaker and reviewer. 2003 saw him being the first recipient of the prestigious Tunkie Memorial Award for “Outstanding Dedication and Leadership in Dance”. Recently, he received an award for “Management and Leadership in Cultural Economy” from the Wits School of Arts in Partnership with Business Arts South Africa (BASA). He has completed a BA at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in addition to acquiring other skills and qualifications in Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Arts Management in institutions such as Raizcorp and IMM Graduate School of Marketing. He holds an MA in Cultural Policy & Management from Wits University. Currently, April is employed at the University of Pretoria (School of the Arts) involved in Production Logistics alongside lecturing Arts Administration & Management as well as Movement Studies.

Gift Tapiwa Marovatsanga,

Gift Marovatsanga, a University of Zululand, Drama and Theatre Studies Lecturer, is a multidisciplinary performing artist who has a passion for telling stories on and off stage. Gift teaches the theory and practice of various drama and theatre courses including Acting for the Stage and Film, Script and Screen Writing, Applied Drama and Theatre, and Directing. When not teaching, Gift writes and directs, mostly for the theatre. Gift writes and performs short stories and poetry, and he mentors a few young poets, actors and directors. Some of Gift’s productions include Hidden Closet, (NAF 2012), The Embrace (DFL Festival 2014), Vuka Africa (Unizulu 2015), Faces (2015-2019) and To The CEO (UniZulu 2016). As a researcher Gift is interested in participatory action research and in themes around masculinity, gender relations, relationships and power. 

Lliane Loots

Lliane Loots founded FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY as a professional dance company in 2003 when it grew out of a dance training programme that originally began in 1994. As the artistic director and resident choreographer for FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY, she has won numerous national choreographic awards and has travelled extensively in Europe, America and within the African continent with her dance work.  In 1991, she ‘birthed’ the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience within the Centre for Creative Arts and continues as its Artistic Director and curator under the direction of Dr. Ismail Mahomed. Loots also holds the positions of Lecturer in the Drama and Performance Studies Programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban). She completed her PhD in 2018 looking at contemporary dance/performance histories on the African continent. Loots was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government in 2017 for her work (both artistic and curatorial) in the South African dance sector. Her current collaborative research project with Dr Yvette Hutchison will trace the relationship between disability dance and citizenship in Africa.  

Sarahleigh Castelyn

Sarahleigh Castelyn is a performer, choreographer, and researcher: a dance nerd. She is a Reader in Performing Arts in the School of Arts and Creative Industries at the University of East London (UK). Her dance research focuses on race, gender, sexuality, and nation in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa, the politics of hybridity, and the use of practice as a research methodology. She has performed in and choreographed dance works, for example at JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience (South Africa) and The Playhouse (South Africa). She serves on a number of editorial and organisation boards, such as The South African Dance Journal and HOTFOOT. She has published research on dance and South Africa, for instance in Viral Dramaturgies (2018) and Narratives in Black British Dance (2018), and in journals such as The African Performance Review, Dance Theatre Journal, Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies, Animated, African Performance Review, and The South African Theatre Journal.

Thobi Maphanga

Thobile Maphanga is a Durban based dance practitioner, creative collaborator and emerging writer with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Information Systems and Drama from Rhodes University. She is currently reading for her MA at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  She has worked both in corporate and artistic sectors and is interested in how these two worlds can interact and prove beneficial for all involved.  Her recent work has been site-specific, and film based as she interrogates how we define and make purposeful the arts and the industry it sits in.  Her dance career has spanned two decades, working with various South African Companies and choreographers.  She has collaborated with local and international artists to produce independent work.  She was a co-founder of The Rickshaw Collective, sits on the board of the FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY and is a part of the steering committee for the KZN branch of the I’m4theArts movement.  

Yvette Hutchison

Yvette Hutchison is South African Reader/ Associate Professor in Theatre & Performance Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. Her research focuses on Anglophone African theatre, history and narratives of memory, and how intercultural performance practices are challenged by ongoing postcolonial issues. She is associate editor of the South African Theatre Journal and the African Theatre series. Her Leverhulme project Performing Memory: Theatricalising identity in contemporary South Africa in 2012, culminated in her monograph South African Performance and Archives of Memory (Manchester University press, 2013). From 2015-17 she had AHRC funding to develop mobile app technology to create a virtual network of African women creative practitioners and other interested parties, the African Womens’ Playwright Network (AWPN). Her latest publications include the coedited African Theatre: Contemporary Dance (James Currey, 2018), and Contemporary Plays by African Women (Methuen, 2019). Her current collaborative project with Dr Lliane Loots of FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY will trace the relationship between disability dance and citizenship in Africa.  

Leonora Jacoby

Administrative support/Intern from the University of East London (London, UK): 

Leonora Jacoby is currently undertaking a degree in Urban Dance Practice at the University of East London. Once having graduated she is planning to do a PGCE in dance for Secondary and Further Education. Leonora works in a north London based dance school, as a crew teacher, training children to compete both in England and internationally. She is very interested in the use of movement in learning and movement as a support for mental and physical health.