Clowns Without Borders South Africa Community
Jamie McLaren Lachman (chairperson, director, facilitator, clown, storyteller)
Jamie McLaren 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. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lulu Ngcobo (managing director)
Lulu Ngcobo provides us with much needed administrative and management support while our teams of facilitating artists are hard at work in the field. Ngcobo has worked with CWBSA since 2008. Prior to her involvement in the organisation, she was the Operations and Funds Director of the Robs Smetherham Bereavement Service for Children (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. As managing director of CWBSA, Ngcobo is responsible for organisational management and procedures, financial management, and donor email@example.com
Gavin Stockden (treasurer, juggler, clown, magician, fire artist, unicyclist)
Gavin Stockden has been working as a clown for about 7 years. Born and raised in Durban, South Africa, he studied IT, decided it wasn't for him, so ran away to join the circus coming down to Durban on weekends and holidays to do corporate walk-around clowning gigs. He traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2002 to take part in fire shows at the Abha Palace Hotel and Dubai in 2006 to work for a few months for Flying Elephant Parties at birthday parties and corporate functions. Early in 2007 he started On The Ball Productions (www.otbp.co.za) with a couple of friends which provides entertainment for parties and functions. He also joined the Circus Life professional development program at the BAT Centre as a participating artist. In May 2007 he went on his first CWB Expedition to the Eastern Cape and Northern Natal. Later in 2007 he became a member of the Magic Lodge of South Africa and the South African Magic Society.
Sibusiso Khambule(artist representative, actor, clown, director, facilitator)
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.
Thanda Phoswa (artist representative, acrobat, facilitator)
Thanda Phoswa (Sassy) is a member of Sinani's Survivors of Violence social circus outreach program where she teaches children in her hometown of Richmond, KZN. She has participated in CWBSA interventions in Ixopo as a trainer for Project Njabulo and facilitator for the Chibini Circus Programme. Phoswa is passionate about bringing the circus to the community.
Margaret Logan (actor, wise fool)
Margaret has worn many hats, and juggled a number of careers during her lifetime. She has worked extensively in radio drama, theatre, film and television, while writing and adapting plays and several comedy series under the nom de plume of Terry Miller. Later, she turned entrepreneur and award-winning businesswoman, entering the fashion world, and building up a successful textile wholesale and converting business. As a Disney licensee, she sold Disney printed fabric products both here in South Africa, Australia and the UK. On semi-retirement, Margaret completed an MA in Theory of Literature (Distinction) through UNISA,, and is currently studying intervention strategies in Community Psychology. She has four adult children, two stepchildren, and seven grandchildren
Busi Biyela (juggler, acrobat)
Busi Biyela is a trainer at Sinani-Survivor's of Violence social circus program in Durban. She teaches vulnerable children circus skills in a community intervention program in Folweni, KZN. Performing as her clown, Strawberry, Busi recently returned from a Clowns Without Borders expedition in Ingwavuma, KZN where she was working with Ingwavuma Orphan Care.
Nadia Maria Caldeira (clown, actor, dancer, director, facilitator)
Born and raised in Johannesburg, Nadia (aka Mafia aka NoIdea aka NaBia) started performing at a young age. She started dancing at age 5 and in 2000 attended the National School of Arts in Braamfontein JHB. Her love for performance, especially physical theatre and collaborative work led her to Cape Town in 2006 where she began her studies at the University of Cape Town. She completed her BA in Theatre and performance at the end of 2009. Shortly after graduating in early 2010 Nadia began her journey with the Clowns with the hope to bring Joy, Laughter and a sense of play as a means of healing into the lives of many. She believes creative play opens a space for people to express their frustrations, pains and joys in ways they may not otherwise be able to do. She also likes climbing mountains, swimming at every opportunity and tap dancing.
Sibusiso Dlamini (juggler, magician, stilt-walker, physical comedian)
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.
Bongekile Mabuya (juggler, clown, stilt-walker, senior facilitator)
Bongekile Mabuya (Bossy) is a founding member of the African Dream Circus and teaching artist with CWBSA. During the Circus Life South Africa program, she participated in the professional development training as was a principle trainer at its outreach program in Newlands at a home for former street children. She performs at many events throughout Durban and KZN and was a member of the Department of Arts and Culture's program Taking the Arts to the People in 2005. Bongekile has served on CWBSA's Management Committee and worked throughout Southern Africa as a senior facilitating artist. She is funny when in command.
Sipho Mdletshe(clown, artist, facilitator)
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.
Sussie Mjwara(clown, actor, storyteller, facilitator, adventure instructor)
Sussie Nomfezeko Mjwara, aka Ms. Diva, was born in the Eastern Cape in a small town called Mount Frere. She moved to KwaZulu Natal at a young age. Completed matric at Durban Girls Secondary School 2001. After high school attended DUT where Sussie studied Drama and graduated in 2005 where she majored in Theatre in Education and Theatre Dance. She has also worked as an adventure instructor and is has an ARA level 2 in that field. Sussie is passionate about children and love the arts. "Do not wait for opportunity to come knocking at your door, keep your door open so that opportunity comes right in for you might not hear the knock.”
Annabel Morgan(clown, facilitator, storyteller)
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!
Sabee Shozi(clown, karate trainer, sensei, facilitator)
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.
Sibongile Tsoanyane (juggler, clown, storyteller, senior facilitator)
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.
Laen Herschler(director, clown, improvisor, facilitator, mask performer)
Laen Hershler is a Cape Town- based theater performer, director and teacher. Since graduating from L’Ecole International Jacque Lecoq (Paris) in 2004 he has toured France, Korea, Australia and Canada performing and giving workshops on various aspects and uses of physical theatre for both children and adults. His specialty lies in the use of mask, puppetry and clown and has trained, collaborated, and performed intensively with Quebec mask expert Louis Fortier over the past five years. He has been involved as a, director, and/or creator in over a dozen international theatre creations and has recently researched, created, and directed a play for the Canadian environmental organization Otesha that looks to reaffirm the place of theater in social change. He is an active member of the Cape Town Playback Theatre community and has also completed his Master’s degree in theatre and performance at UCT.
Bongiwe Mabuya (juggler, acrobat, stilt-walker, clown)
Bongiwe Mabuya was founding member of the African Dream Circus. She has worked with Clowns Without Borders in the Eastern Cape and northern KZN performing as her clown, Miss South Africa. In 2007, Bongiwe was a resident teacher for Circus Life's outreach program at Lake Haven Children's Home.Along with her sister, Bongekile, Mabuya lives in KwaMashu outside of Durban.
Alice Nelson (clown, teacher)
Alice is an actor, clown, and improvisor. She graduated from the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre. She has worked with theatres all over Alberta, Canada and regularly tours the Canadian Fringe Circuit. She has done Clowns Without Borders expeditions to KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho and Limpopo. Alice is a big fan of laughter.
Garth Van Vliet (juggler, entertainer, workshop leader)
Garth, or JayJay Blancmange, hails from Johannesburg where he can be seen performing at many functions, events, schools, and conferences. The founder of Jolly Juggler, a "supplier of all things juggly in South Africa", www.juggle.co.za, J.J. joined Clowns Without Borders in Mpumalanga on our first expedition. He just showed up, unloaded his car, performed a show, and taught a workshop on juggling for 50 orphans using rocks for props! Garth is the president of the SA Juggling Association, member of Gauteng Juggling Club, and director of Reach for a Dream's Jabulani hospital programme.