WHO WE ARE

 

BOARD

Gugu Mclaren

Chairperson, Sustainability and Transformation

Gugu Mclaren has over 10 years experience in the field of sustainable development, having worked in corporate, consultancy & non-profit sectors in varying industries including health, insurance & extractive. Her focus has been on strategy development & implementation, leadership, and reporting within globally relevant organisations. She holds a MSocSc in Gender and Development from the African Gender Institute at UCT. Gugu is a co-founder of iSwareyi, a Johannesburg based movement for the appreciation our African identity, manifested through art. Additionally, Gugu is director of Themba Books, an independent publisher focused on supporting African writers telling African stories.

Precious Nyapele

Secretary

Precious currently serves as International Project Manager at ActionAid International. Her role is to lead the development of the Global Annual Report and coordinate activities related to this process. Precious has an Honours degree in Development and Social Sciences with the University of South Africa. Precious is currently completing her Master’s degree focusing on Human and Social Sciences with the University of KwaZulu- Natal.

Jasmine Adam

Human Resources and Organisational Development

Jasmine is the head of Holistic Advance Human Capital Development (Pty) Ltd.  She specialises in delivering high quality company interventions through a holistic consultative approach to solve African organisational challenges. Her business-focused experience shaped her approach to human capital development. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in Organisational Psychology at the University of Cape Town, a certificate in Information Technology from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, a certificate in Entrepreneurship and Business Management from Cape College as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Strategic Media Management from the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Sibongile Tsoanyane

Facilitator Representative

Sibongile Tsoanyane is a juggler, singer, storyteller, clown, and facilitator. Originally from a small town in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, she lives in Pietermaritzburg. In 1999, Sibongile was a founding member of the African Dream Circus. She began working with Clowns Without Borders as a senior facilitating artist in 2007. Working throughout Southern Africa as well as Ethiopia and Canada, Sibongile has told stories, performed clown shows, and facilitated workshops that use storytelling and play to strengthen relationships between guardians and children affected by HIV/AIDS, poverty, and violence. With a big heart and beautiful smile, Sibongile hopes to continue awakening joy and creativity in the lives of people throughout the world.

Annabel Morgan

CWB International Representative

Annabel is a clown, storyteller and facilitating artist from Swaziland and Malawi. Her interest in performing arts began during her school years at the United World College of Southern Africa. Annabel studied Theatre Arts at the University of London, while also collaborating as a performing artist with InForm Theatre Company, a physical theatre-based ensemble. Annabel went on to train for two years with an international drama academy to become a drama teacher. Searching for something closer to home and to her heart, Annabel returned to Swaziland and started Creative Beans, an arts-based organisation dedicated to the expression and empowerment of the child spirit through the arts (and heart). Through Creative Beans, she performs clown and storytelling shows, facilitates workshops, practices permaculture and home herbalism, as well as other things. Annabel has performed all over the world with CWB and radiates love, playfulness and compassion wherever she goes.

Sibusiso Khambule

Artist Representative

Sibusiso was born in Soweto. During high school he was involved in cultural of learning and teaching programmes through drama. He joined Thesele Creative Society (T.C.S.), a community theatre group. T.C.S. introduced him to physical theatre and street performance touring around the world. In 2003 Sibusiso was awarded a scholarship to study physical theatre at the Jacques Lecoq School of Theatre in Paris for two years. Upon his return he taught in schools, organisations and institutions and continued performing and directing. At later stage Sibusiso joined MLA agent where he was introduced to co-operate theatre. In 2008 he got a role in an international movie still to be released called Bang Bang Club. In 2009 Sibusiso attended a facilitators training at Sibikwa Arts Centre and was awarded a SACRA certificate.

Neesha Fakir

Neesha is a committed advocate for gender equality, youth empowerment, child participation and child rights. Her career in international development and rights based programmes, spans over a decade, covering 30 countries in East and Southern Africa, West Africa as well as the Asia- Pacific region. She is currently attached to Save the Children International regional office for East and Southern Africa’ regional programming unit, where she is a member of the child rights governance and child poverty team. Her focus has been on strengthening and supporting civil society organisations and regional mechanisms in the East and Southern Africa region to hold governments to account for child and youth rights. Previously she was associated with UN Women, ARROW in Malaysia and People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), where she collaborated with diverse teams, working in the area of ending gender based violence and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. She holds a Masters (MA), in Global Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), at the University of London and is planning on starting a second masters in Global Leadership, in the summer of 2019. Neesha believes the more she learns, the more she has yet to learn and she hopes that never changes.

 

 

Neesha Fakir

CORE STAFF

FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Dr “Clown” Jamie McLaren Lachman

Jamie (aka Jabulani Nene Mshengu aka Banjo Max aka Dr Jamie Clown) is the founder and executive director of Clowns Without Borders South Africa. He has over 20 years of experience as a physical theatre performer, musician, storyteller, songwriter, mindfulness facilitator, and clown. Jamie has performed and facilitated 100s of shows and workshops to support the wellbeing of children and families around the world. He also has a DPhil in Social Intervention from the University of Oxford where he also works as a research fellow in the Centre for Evidence-Based Research. His research focuses on the development, adaptation, implementation, evaluation and scale-up of parenting programmes to reduce violence against children and improve child and family wellbeing in low- and middle-income countries. Always looking for laughter in the life’s simplicity, Jamie strives to live each day fully with compassion and amazement.

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Lulu Ngcobo

Lulu has worked with Clowns Without Borders South Africa since 2008. Prior to her involvement in the organisation, she worked in the private sector as well as with the faith based institutions and churches of South Africa and internationally. She was also the Operations and Funds Director of the Robs Smetherham Bereavement Service for Children, now called Dlalanathi (2004-2008). Ngcobo was a fellow in the 2010 MACAIDS Leadership Training by the University of Columbia and Human Sciences Research Council. She has training in gender sensitivity, monitoring & evaluation, management, and bereavement. Lulu is a graduate of the University of South Africa, holding a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management. In 2018, she graduated with her Honours in Bachelor of Theology with the University of KwaZulu Natal in Pietermaritzburg. As Managing Director of Clowns Without Borders South Africa, Ngcobo is responsible for organisational management and procedures, financial management, and donor relations

PLH SENIOR TECHNICAL ADVISOR

Nomagugu Masuku-Mukadah (MPhil)

Nomagugu is the Senior Technical Advisor for the Parenting for Lifelong Health Prototype Implementation Network. She is responsible for overseeing and providing technical assistance to organisations disseminating and scaling up the Parenting for Lifelong Health Parenting Programme for Parents and Teens (PLH 10-17). She has over 10 years’ experience serving in various capacities in the strengthening and implementation of child and youth focused projects and has spent many years working in the field of child protection and development. Augmenting her professional background, she holds a Masters in Monitoring and Evaluation Methods and undertaken further postgraduate studies in Child and Family Science. Her professional practice interests are around ensuring the successful integration and sustainment of evidence based programmes in various practice settings. She is an advocate at heart with a passion to making a difference and has co-authored in a book on student movements in South Africa.

TECHNICAL PROGRAMME SPECIALIST

Anna Booij

Anna is part of the implementation network of the Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) initiative. As Technical Programme Specialist for the parenting programme for parents of children ages 2-9 (PLH 2-9), she enjoys providing support to a wide variety of partners to successfully strengthen families and reduce child maltreatment. After completing her Masters in Humanitarian Action in the Netherlands, Anna lived and worked as a development consultant in Liberia, West-Africa, for several years. When the Ebola epidemic brought her work in Liberia to an end, she joined Médecins Sans Frontières for missions in Pakistan, South Sudan, and South Africa. In 2016, Anna joined the parenting team at Clowns Without Borders South Africa to support partners in adapting and implementing the PLH 2-9 programmes. She continues to be amazed and motivated by the positive impact of the parenting programmes on individual lives, families, and communities across Africa and East-Asia.

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Suzan Eriksson

Suzan is the Development Director at Clowns Without Borders South Africa since 2018. She has over 15 years of experience working with the non-governmental and public sector, as well as the UN – in particular with refugees, children and education. She has a MSc from London School of Economics in sociology and complex emergencies. Suzan comes from a Swedish speaking and Tatar background in Finland, grew up in the UK and has worked in Finland, UK, Switzerland, Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa. She is a strong believer in empowerment of individuals to take control of their lives and make informed decisions without harm. Suzan loves reading (has even written a novel) and being outdoors in the middle of nowhere!

HEAD TRAINER AND FACILITATOR PARENTING PROGRAMME

Sibongile Tsoanyane

Sibongile, aka Gogo, is a juggler, singer, storyteller, clown, and facilitator. Originally from a small town in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, she lives in Pietermaritzburg. In 1999, Sibongile was a founding member of the African Dream Circus. She began working with Clowns Without Borders as a senior facilitating artist in 2007. Working throughout Southern Africa as well as Ethiopia and Canada, Sibongile has told stories, performed clown shows, and facilitated workshops that use storytelling and play to strengthen relationships between guardians and children affected by HIV/AIDS, poverty, and violence. With a big heart and beautiful smile, Sibongile hopes to continue awakening joy and creativity in the lives of people throughout the world.

FINANCE ADMINISTRATOR

Ayanda Nyamende

Ayanda was born in Durban raised in Matatiele and now lives in Pietermaritzburg. She joined CWBSA in 2016 as a financial Administrator. She held a certificate in Bookkeeping, Pastel and Financial Accounting and currently working on her diploma in Accounting. Ayanda has been involved in different community work though the church. She believes in paying it forward by impacting one individual at a time. Her passion is music, organizing events and running catering business. She is a great organizer and love to keep the team financial accountable.

TECHNICAL PROGRAMME SPECIALIST

Mpume Danisa

Mpume started her NGO career in 1999 working with children living on the streets of Durban. Her work centred on building trust with these young people at risk, encourage them to make positive choices and if possible, reunite them with their families. This experience exposed her to extreme conditions of poverty and inequality, leading to her pursuing postgraduate studies focusing on the Economics of Development. She later joined CWBSA in what began as a very short stint to assist with reporting in 2014 and has become a longer relationship and home.

ARTISTS WHO HAVE WORKED WITH US BEFORE

Sibusiso Khambule

Sibusiso (SeeSaw) was born in Soweto. During high school he was involved in cultural of learning and teaching programmes through drama. He joined Thesele Creative Society (T.C.S.), a community theatre group. T.C.S. introduced him to physical theatre and street performance touring around the world. In 2003 Sibusiso was awarded a scholarship to study physical theatre at the Jacques Lecoq School of Theatre in Paris for two years. Upon his return he taught in schools, organisations and institutions and continued performing and directing. At later stage Sibusiso joined MLA agent where he was introduced to co-operate theatre. In 2008 he got a role in an international movie still to be released called Bang Bang Club. In 2009 Sibusiso attended a facilitators training at Sibikwa Arts Centre and was awarded a SACRA certificate. He continues to facilitating programmes for Batsha Jieud programmes at Ipelegeng community centre in Soweto.

Annabel Morgan

Annabel, aka Banana Bell, is a clown, storyteller and facilitating artist from Swaziland and Malawi. Her interest in performing arts began during her school years at the United World College of Southern Africa. Annabel studied Theatre Arts at the University of London, while also collaborating as a performing artist with InForm Theatre Company, a physical theatre-based ensemble. Annabel went on to train for two years with an international drama academy to become a drama teacher. Searching for something closer to home and to her heart, Annabel returned to Swaziland and started Creative Beans, an arts-based organisation dedicated to the expression and empowerment of the child spirit through the arts (and heart). Through Creative Beans, she performs clown and storytelling shows, facilitates workshops, practices permaculture and home herbalism, as well as other things. Annabel has performed all over the world with CWB and radiates love, playfulness and compassion wherever she goes.

Sibongile Tsoanyane

Sibongile is a juggler, singer, storyteller, clown, and facilitator. Originally from a small town in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, she lives in Pietermaritzburg. In 1999, Sibongile was a founding member of the African Dream Circus. She began working with Clowns Without Borders as a senior facilitating artist in 2007. Working throughout Southern Africa as well as Ethiopia and Canada, Sibongile has told stories, performed clown shows, and facilitated workshops that use storytelling and play to strengthen relationships between guardians and children affected by HIV/AIDS, poverty, and violence. With a big heart and beautiful smile, Sibongile hopes to continue awakening joy and creativity in the lives of people throughout the world.

Sibusiso Dlamini

Sibusiso Dlamini, aka “Mr. Fish,” has been performing for audiences for many years, astounding them with his skills as a juggler and physical comedian. A veteran of many local circuses including the Boswell Wilkie Circus, he has worked with Clowns Without Borders on many field expeditions in KZN, the Eastern Cape, and Limpopo. Mr. Fish lives in Hammerstead.

Jayne Batzofin

Jayne completed her Honours degree at WITS University, majoring in directing and stage/costume design. She decided she wasn’t finished learning and continued a further 2 years of theatre studies at l’ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She returned to South Africa to find herself in Cape Town working with the prestigious Visual theatre company, FTH:K. Jayne as a Director is best known for her “Batzofin Bite” as seen in her theatre productions Kardiavale and PruTTeL (which won a KANNA for Best Debut Production at the KKNK 2013) . Her common thread amongst all her work has always been based in the fundamental theatre training of “the Clown”. She has been a recurring director for Clowns without Borders South Africa since 2012, and through doing so, has discovered a passion for working in the social upliftment sector of the Arts.

Sipho Mdletshe

Sipho Mdletshe, aka Zumba, was born and raised in Pietermartizburg. After matriculation, he couldn’t continue education due to financial constraints. A passionate football player, he devoted his life to the sport hoping to make a break through professionally. In 2007, Sipho broke his leg ending his soccer career. He joined the YMCA-Edendale as a volunteer facilitating workshops with children and youth who face challenges in life. Joining Clowns Without Borders in 2008, Sipho has performed throughout South Africa and Swaziland for thousands of children. He loves every moment of the work – especially facilitating residencies. He is very humble, passionate, and a hard worker and a hilariously funny character clown.

Carlo Daniels

Carlo Daniels grew up in Mitchell’s Plain, where he started singing and acting on street corners from a young age. Later he started his own boy band SHY which performed at places like Madame Zingara. He landed his first role in a David Kramer musical ‘Some Like it Vrot’, in 2011 and went to star in four more David Kramer productions- ‘Kat and the Kings’, ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘Orpheus in Africa’ and ‘District six Kanala’. He followed his calling to be a clown when attending a CWBSA clown workshop and he has never looked back.

Sussie Mjwara

Nomfezeko Sussie Mjwara, aka Olive, was born in the Eastern Cape, Mount Frere. She completed her higher primary and tertiary education in KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, and holds a National Diploma in Drama from the Durban University of Technology. Sussie is a facilitator, clown and storyteller; and has worked as an intern for KZN Department of Education Co-curricular Services: 2015-2017. Currently she is a freelancer in performance and facilitation and working on a regular basis with The Big Little Caravan of Joy, facilitating arts based programming for children.

Irene Mwangi

Irene, aka Shikwikwi, is a clown, storyteller, performing and facilitating artist from Kenya. She developed her interest in working with children when she was in college. In 2011 she joined Sarakasi Trust Hospital Project as a storyteller, but she was soon introduced to hospital clowning. Shikwikwi has worked with Clowns Without Borders South Africa in Kenya and South Sudan as a volunteer performing and facilitating artist in 2014 and 2015. She completed her degree in counselling psychology and is currently working with Terre Des Hommes Swiss in one of the biggest slums in Kenya where she has introduced a new approach of using artistic skills to help children who are in distress.

Emilie Owen

Emilie is a fun and passionate theatre actress, singer, improviser and of course, clown! She completed her BADA degree at the Wits University, majoring in Performance and Television/Film Production. She then went on to New York to do a summer musical theatre intensive course at the Stella Adler Studio, and has been a part of the Joburg based Indigo View Advanced Actor’s Academy. She has performed in a range of children’s shows at ‘The National Children’s Theatre’, been a singer and dancer in the Cantare Varga Girl cabaret show, performed in the comedy ‘Vanya, and Sonia, and Masha and Spike’ at The Pieter Toerien Theatre, facilitated workshops with ‘Buzz Drama Dance and Singing’, and is a part of the comedy improvisational troupe called the Jittery Citizens. She never misses an opportunity to spread the clowning love and make people laugh, and with her red nose on, it’s all sorts of silliness and ‘organised’ chaos!

Natalie Robbie

Natalie was born in Johannesburg and completed her acting training in the UK. After being classically trained at The Oxford School of Drama; Natalie attended Goldsmiths College where she discovered her love for Theatre Making and Physical performance. Since graduating, Natalie has been involved in innovative theatre productions that explore storytelling via alternative methods. She has been involved in three productions and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and her co-devised piece, Loose Soul was transferred to London. She moved in Cape Town in 2015, and discovered her nose in 2016. She loves nothing more than to make people laugh and to make them feel happy.

Sabee Shozi

Innocent Sabee Shozi, aka U.B.U The Young Master, was born in Kwa Mashu, a township in Durban. While growing up in various townships, he started learning martial arts at the age of 7 years old and received his black belt in 2008. He started training both children and adults in 2002. Sabee has worked as a choreographer and acted in underground movies. He started to fall in love with acting when he was still in school acting in township plays. He got involved in Clowns Without Borders because he likes people to feel happy. Sabee is funny.

Gavin Stockden

Gavin Stockden is one of the founding members and an office-bearer for CWBSA. He has been a performer since about 2000, starting as a fire performer and slowly moving on to juggling, unicycling, clown and magic. He is also the director of an entertainment agency that books performers for corporate and private functions in Durban and KZN. And he is one of the directors of a company that creates and installs urban gardening solutions such as vertical gardens, roof gardens and permaculture designs. He still can’t believe he doesn’t know how to surf or play an instrument.

Bo Tasker

Bo Tasker is Deaf and base in Durban. Have been into drama since school and have a kack to make people laugh. After leaving school started performing as fire shows, stilts, juggling, drumming, ballon molding and face painting. Also made a show called “Listen with your eyes” with two other Deaf guys and we tour around DBN and JHB. Then got invited to do our show in France and England. Being a clown comes to me naturally.

Toni Thord-Gray

Toni is a hula hooper, stilt walker, fire dancer and aerial performer from KwaZulu Natal. She began learning circus hula hooping, juggling and poi skills in high school after watching local fire performers.  In 2015 she moved to Cape Town and has since practised and performed with various circus and performance groups such as South African National Circus, Psychedelic Theatre and New Moon Collective directed by Craig Leo. She has learnt many new skills such as physical theatre, puppetry, clowning and the importance of storytelling. Toni’s most recent passion is aerial performance; she loves flying high on a metal hoop and making beautiful shapes while hanging from ropes. She has taught prop manipulation and circus skills to people of all ages. She loves the challenges she faces when teaching and the joy and humour that performing creates daily. She finds an adventure in every day even if it is just in her imagination.

Sizwe Vilakazi

Sizwe Vilakazi is an actor\writer\clown and story teller and clown from Soweto, he is a member of ASSITEJ because of his passion for children and young people, he heads an organization called let’s play Children’s theatre and is doing various projects with chiawelo library. He has done children’s theatre in Europe and South Africa and other African countries and he’s excited to be a part of the Clowns Without Borders S.A family.