Who We Are

Clowns Without Borders South Africa Community

Core staff

Board of Directors

Gugu McLaren (chairperson, sustainability and transformation)

Gugu McLaren

Gugu holds an MSocSc and is a social scientist with a notable academic and professional background in gender studies, sustainability, development, transformation and social issues. Her diverse experience covers the NGO and corporate sectors, enabling well-developed insights and understandings of a wide range of issues facing various industries. She is currently a senior specialist at Discovery in the sustainability and wellness space. In her free time she actively promotes the arts among young people through iSwareyi.

Jasmine Adam (human resources and organisational development)

Jasmine Adam

Jasmine Adam is the head of Holistic Advance, the human capital development division of Holistic Financial Services. She and her team specialise in delivering high quality human capital-related interventions through a holistic consultative approach to solve African organisational challenges. Her work experience can be traced back to her student days as the Human Resources Manager at UCT Radio under the authority of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and National Association of Broadcasters, while completing a BCom Honours degree in Organisational Psychology at the University of Cape Town. She then moved into specialist roles as a Recruitment Specialist, Training Consultant and HR Manager at TFG and the Ackermans Groups. Thereafter she entered the Media Industry at the largest African Media Company, Media24 (Pty) Ltd, as an Organisational Development and Transformation Manager and thereafter as the Group Talent Manager. She also completed a certificate in Information Technology from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, a certificate in Entrepreneurship and Business Management from Cape College and a Post Graduate Certificate in Strategic Media Management from the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Sibusiso Khambule (artist representative, actor, clown, director, facilitator)

Nurse Sibusiso

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 (CWB international representative, clown, facilitator, storyteller)

Banana Face having fun

Annabel, aka Banana Bell, is a clown, storyteller and freelance performing 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. From 2003 – 2006 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 African soil and started Creative Beans, an arts-based organisation dedicated to the expression and empowerment of the child spirit through the arts. Through Creative Beans, she performs clown and storytelling shows, facilitates Creative Hearts classes and workshops, as well as other things. Annabel loves her work for CWBSA because it brings together and enables her to juggle some of her favourite things; working with the child spirit, healing through creative expression, compassion and play!

Sibongile Tsoanyane (facilitator representative, project coordinator, master trainer, juggler, clown, storyteller, facilitator)

Sibongile (Gogo) in Elandskop

Sibongile Tsoanyane, 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.

Core Management and Administrative Team

Jamie Lachman (founder, executive director, facilitator, clown, storyteller)

Jamie

Jamie Lachman, aka Jabulani Nene Mshengu, aka Banjo Max, is the founder and director of Clowns Without Borders South Africa. Born in South Africa, Lachman left at an early age only to return in 2004 to begin an amazing journey that led to Clowns Without Borders South Africa. In 2007, he worked in Durban as the project manager of Circus Life South Africa, a cultural exchange partnership between the BAT Centre in South Africa and Cirkus Cirkor, a Swedish Cultural Exchange Program. It was here that he met many of the artists that are the foundation for CWBSA. Jamie is a graduate of Yale University and the Dell’Arte International School for Physical Theatre. He also holds a MSc in Evidence Based Social Intervention from the University of Oxford and is currently working on doctoral research on the Sinovuyo Caring Families Project. He is an actor, clown, storyteller, musician, songwriter, director, facilitator, and poet. Always looking for laughter in the life’s simplicity, Jamie strives to live each day fully with compassion and amazement. jamie@cwbsa.org

Lulu Ngcobo (managing director)

Lulu

Lulu Ngcobo Ngcobo 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. She is currently working on 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.lulu@cwbsa.org

Jayne Batzofin (artistic director, clown, facilitator, creative genius)

Our creative genius!

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". Since becoming a regular Artistic Director for Clowns without Borders South Africa, she has discovered a passion for working in the social upliftment sector of the Arts. Thinking of herself as a wonderer and a wanderer, she continues to develop this passion through her work with CWBSA. In 2014, she was accepted into the Assitej "Inspiring a Generation" exchange programme to further develop her training and knowledge in making theatre for children.

Artists and Facilitators

Lisa Cohen (programme developer, storyteller, facilitator)

Lisa Cohen

Lisa Cohen is a storyteller, facilitator, children’s story author, programme developer, Early Childhood Development advocate and creativity sparker. After graduating from the University of Cape Town with an Honours in Clinical Psychology, she co-founded the Earthchild Project (www.earthchildproject.org) and her own storytelling company, Grow A Tale (www.growatale.co.za). She has completed The Storyteller in the Community and Telling True Life Tales courses at International School of Storytelling (www.schoolofstorytelling.com ). Currently working as the Portfolio Manager of Parenting Programmes at Ilifa Labantwana (www.ilifalabantwana.co.za) and with Clowns Without Borders South Africa as the Programme Manager for the Our Story Your Story project (www.cwbsa.org/osys ), she uses personal narrative to build bridges within divided communities.

Sibusiso Dlamini (juggler, magician, stilt-walker, physical comedian)

Mr. Fish hiding in the audience with chldren

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.

Liza Gantsho (Sinovuyo Teens facilitator and trainer)

Liza Gantsho

Noluvuyo Same aka Liza, lives in King Williams Town, Eastern Cape. She have a diploma in Project Management from Varsity College. Scooped seven courses on BComm degree that she couldn't finish due to financial constraints. She then travelled the world with South African Airways, as a Flight Attendant, for seven years, locally and internationally. Liza has also worked for STD Bank, Old Mutual and Maphops Management Services. She loves to organise events, mostly kids parties on her spare time. In 2015, Liza joined Clowns Without Borders South Africa as a facilitator and trainer for the Sinovuyo Caring Families Programme for Parents and Teens in the Eastern Cape. She is always looking for opportunities of making a difference in communities.

Sipho Mdletshe (clown, artist, facilitator, trainer)

Mr. Pink Tights wearing a mop

Sipho Mdletshe, aka Sabee, aka Mr. Pink Tights, 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. He loves his clown character.

Andiswa Mgedle (trainer, facilitator, storyteller)

Andiswa

Andiswa was born in Willowvale, in a small village called Nokatana in Eastern Cape. She then moved to Cape Town, she studied all her grades in Cape Town. She began her career in social activism while in High School when she participated in the HIV Community Awareness run by the organisation called Hope Worldwide. From 2010 to 2014 Andiswa studied Early Childhood Development at the college of Cape Town. During this time, she volunteered in ECDs around Khayelitsha developing her practical application of the theories learnt in the course. In 2013, Andiswa started working for Clowns Without Borders as a facilitator and trainer of the Sinovuyo Caring Families Programme (www.cwbsa.org/sinovuyo/kids). In 2015, she expanded her involvement with CWBSA as a facilitator, administrator, and translator of the Our Story Your Story project (www.cwbsa.org/osys). She is an amazing facilitator, trainer, and mother!

Irene Mwangi (clown, storyteller, performing artist, facilitator)

Irene performing for South Sudanese refugees

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.

Phatheka Ntsoyiyana(facilitator, trainer, coordinator)

Phatheka Ntsoyiyana

Phatheka was born and bred in the Eastern Cape Province South Africa. The eldest of four siblings, she grew up singing at church and started to be involved in community activities such as organising concerts and dance competition in high schools. In 2014, Phatheka worked with Love Life as a facilitator of their HIV and AIDS programme in schools and community clinics. In 2015, she joined Clowns Without Borders South Africa as a facilitator of the Sinovuyo Caring Families Programme for Parents and Teens. Phatheka now works as a trainer and coordinator our scale-up projects of Sinovuyo Teens in the Eastern Cape, Lesotho, and Tanzania. She thoroughly enjoys her work in the field and brings to work a love and passion of being engaged and working closely with people. She also believes in bringing positive change to communities because every individual deserves happiness and peace of mind.

Emilie Owen (clown, actor, singer)

Emilie bringing the rain

Emilie Owen 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!

Sabee Shozi (clown, karate trainer, sensei, facilitator)

Sabee crossing the border

Innocent Sabee Shozi, aka Sipho, 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 (juggler, clown, magician, fire artist, unicyclist)

uGavini in Mpande

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.