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New Trustees Join NCT Mission To Grow SA Through Theatre

  • 4 min read

Leading educational-and-performing-arts organisation National Children’s Theatre of South Africa (NCT) has announced several high-powered trustee appointments, engaging a group of respected national and global personalities to steer the next phase of the organisation’s growth. 

The new appointments are Ron Kunene, Mpho Mosimane, Makhaola Ndebele and Andrea Katz. They join existing trustees Mpone Moeketsi, Moira Katz (Chair), Dr. Chesterton Smith and Leslie-Anne Bennett.

The new-look board of trustees reflects NCT’s role as a fully representative theatre organisation that taps into the passions of its audience – the young people of South Africa – and uses theatre arts to develop them as new leaders. 

“NCT is one of South Africa’s  leading education and theatre arts companies for children, offering the best intellectual property and edutainment experiences in the industry. Our Board of Directors is committed to the long-term performance of NCT and creating sustainable value for all. I could not be more excited about our board’s knowledge and willingness to shape NCT’s future,” said Moira Katz, Board Chair.

The new trustees are uniquely equipped to drive this vision, bringing deep experience to their new roles.

Ron Kunene has had a long theatre career, during which he was part of the original Broadway cast of The Lion King, and served as a consultant on the audio book of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk To Freedom. He is an educator on African and world history, musicology, Afrocentricity and cosmo-centricity and has earned AA, BA, MA and C. Phil. degrees. 

“I’m looking forward to working with NCT to do substantial things for South Africa’s children,” says Kunene. “In the USA, my work with the Make a Wish Foundation as part of the Lion King cast opened my eyes to how theatre can enrich children’s lives – whether as an audience member or as part of the theatre production. I am passionate, enthused, and excited to be involved.”

Makhaola Ndebele is a drama professional with experience as an actor, dramatist and screenwriter, theatre director, television producer and creative consultant. Makhaola has directed plays by Zakes Mda, Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekhov, Mike Van Graan, August Strindberg, Moagi Modise, and Steve Dyer and served as an adjudicator for several local and international festivals. 

“It’s critical that theatre be sustainable on an economic level,” he says. “We need to develop a wide range of skills within the sector, from production to marketing, to business science. I look forward to also helping to develop a diverse theatre offering that tells stories from across our country and the world.”

Mpho Mosimane is a former journalist and communications specialist who has worked for government in campaigns incorporating theatre as a powerful form of messaging. He has worked as an organisational strategist, as well as a producer of dramatic works in the corporate and theatrical space. 

“We have seen the impact of theatre in education. It gets people engaged – that is the power of the story,” says Mosimane. “Theatre is also a great way to empower young people with life skills. Through NCT, we can develop young people as individuals, but we can also use theatre to build a united, diverse nation. Theatre is a unique opportunity for people learn to about each other, and NCT facilitates that.” 

NCT’s new trustees have already begun their work and are engaged in driving NCT’s purpose to transform lives and grow the next generation of leaders through the performing arts, musicals and immersive after-school programmes. 

For example, Andrea Katz’s recent nomination as a branding expert to the prestigious Who’s Who in America says enough about why NCT invited her to be a trustee. Andrea, is MD of Ideon Agency, NCT’s branding agency-of-record. She displays interest, dedication and work for NCT that is already showing signs of success with a major NCT partnership announcement coming soon. 

National Children’s Theatre (NCT)

NCT is a Gauteng-based theatre organisation, bringing engaging, award-winning theatre to children and youth in cities and rural areas. Its ambitious purpose is to transform young lives and grow the next generation of leaders through engaging theatre arts, original and instructive musicals, and immersive after-school programmes.

NCT presents live theatre year-round at its 4.5-acre campus in Parktown, Johannesburg, which includes two indoor theatres, an outdoor theatre, a puppet theatre, a music room, and classrooms for weekend workshops and holiday camps. NCT theatre troupes tour to all South African provinces. 

NCT also offers drama classes and theatre camps, where young people develop their creative skills, or take their first steps towards a career in the arts. NCT is a rich talent pipeline for the South African and international theatre world; casts and artistic teams often include alumni of NCT’s productions, workshops and camps.