MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN THE EASTERN CAPE
The expression, “Mover and Shaker” is repeatedly used often with different meanings attached to the phrase. While the results and outcomes of the toil by those given the title are felt, they are seldom celebrated, perhaps because there is no fundamental understanding of what it takes to make an impact on the status quo. What do ‘Movers and Shakers’ get up to daily, and what keeps them committed to their mission? What they live through each day? What are the everyday struggles, disappointments and challenges they face? What do they see that a “normal” person would otherwise overlook.
These four episodes of Movers and Shakers in the Eastern Cape take a close look at individuals who are living out their passions through serving their communities. Dr. Nompucuko Zakaza, Bongiwe “Mthwakazi Chosi” Lusizi, Sonwa Sakuba and Sivuyisiwe Giba are each making big moves in the Eastern Cape to make sure the province is uplifted and the arts are practiced as a legacy that replicates into generations to come.
Nombasa Maqoko travelled the province, shadowing each of them to capture their daily routine and to see how they live their lives and make decisions that lead to the betterment of their communities.
Dr Nompucuko Zakaza
Dr Nompucuko Hluma Zakaza is a Xhosa performing storyteller-poet, writer, and founder of Lisahluma Skills Development Services (2006), from Upper Nqolosa village -Tsomo in the Eastern Cape. Her academic trail can be traced from Daliwonga High School in Cofimvaba, the then University of Transkei (now WSU) up to Rhodes University where she recently obtained a PhD (Thesis title: Mazibuyel’ekhaya iintsomi zesiXhosa: Noplani Gxavu and Nongenile Masithathu Zenani) in October 2020. Her passion for lifelong arts cultural education and literacy development has seen her contributing to other prominent institutions like the Gcinamasiko Arts Heritage Trust, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Johannesburg (CIIMDA, Funda Ujabule and Funda Centre). She has expanded her travelling experience for iintsomi zesiXhosa to United Kingdom through the Isiseko seNkonjane and Afrovibes Festival, which became the beginning for the series of recognition and MEC Awards by the Eastern Cape Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture until 2020. As a self-publishing writer, she has produced several isiXhosa titles from Zenithi Tsiyo-o, tsiyo, Amabali oonobumba, Molo Mohapi, Molo Qhawe to the most recent title, “Nyawuzelela IsiXhosa with support from the Eastern Cape Provincial Arts Council. Her work embodies promotion and preservation of the isiXhosa language through a variety of children’s arts cultural activities.
Dr Zakaza’ s South African employment footprint is within the skills and literacy development sector, currently the Nalibali Reading for Enjoyment Campaign since October 2017. She is also SA Commissioner in 7th Chapter UNESCO as nominated by Minister for Basic Education in 2021 and recently inaugurated Chairperson for Eastern Cape Provincial Archives and Records Committee as nominated by DSRAC MEC in 2021.
Sivuyisiwe Giba is a Board Member of the DFA and is the co-founder and director of SivuBuhle Media, a documentary and multimedia production company based in the Eastern Cape. Sivu comes with a variety of film experiences from working as an AD in various feature films e.g. Black Sails, and Mad Max and as a Local cast and extra’s co-ordinator for KaalKagat Karel – to documentary production- Siyaya Come Wild With Us as a production developer – and her passion is mostly on documentary filmmaking, where she had her formal film training from Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking specialising in producing and directing as well as editing. She won Best Documentary Class of 2013 at the Cape Winelands International Film Festival. Her Documentary Film, where she was an Assistant director, “Xoma Aob – Son of The Soil” got an official selection at the Gauteng Film Commission “Woman Online Film Festival 2020.” She is also a Film business developer who is passionate about provincial film development and with her Degree of Entrepreneurship and New Venture creation from WITS Business School, she is able to see business opportunities through film tourism, co-productions and development. Sivuyisiwe Giba is a Board Member of the Documentary Filmmakers Association- South Africa, as well as a Board Member of the Sunshine Cinema NGO. Sivu is passionate about indigenous stories and that is what she mainly produces and directs especially authentic rural stories where the heart of the community is.
As an award winning dancer, actor, singer, choreographer, founder and artistic director of the Sonwa Sakuba Institute for the Performing Arts, Sonwa returns to South Africa with a wealth of knowledge and an eclectic array of international experience from productions and training programmes from around the world.
Sonwa graduated from the highly acclaimed Waterfront Theatre School where he trained in Musical Theatre, Drama as well as Advanced levels in Modern Dance, Tap Dance, Classical Ballet and Jazz Dance. Sonwa also earned professional Modern Dance and Tap Dance teacher status from the internationally recognized Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (London). Upon graduation he went onto further his studies in New York City at the famous Broadway Dance Center, Alvin Ailey School and Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance. It is at the Martha Graham School where he was awarded a scholarship and worked as an intern for the Martha Graham Dance Company. Some of his New York credits include dance captain for the off-broadway production of Crybaby the Musical in 2018.
In theatrical and corporate stages both nationally and internationally he has performed in numerous productions such as ‘The Lion King’, ‘Hairspray’, Richard Lorings ‘African Footprint’, ‘A Chorus Line’, ‘Footloose’, Estée Lauder Product Launch, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, British Airways Commercial and ‘Guys and Dolls’. His TV credits include playing a lead role on SABC2’s Hectic Nine9 youth show Signal High. As a choreographer, he has choreographed works for ‘Dancers Love Dogs’, Baxter Dance Festival, the Netflix series ‘Blood Drive’, EC Provincial Cultural Awards and stage productions of ‘The Jungle Book’, ‘Alladin’ and ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ to name a few.
As an artist that strives for excellence in arts education and performance for all, in 2018 he was awarded Best Choreographer at the EC Cultural Awards as well as the Eastern Cape Department of Arts and Culture MEC’s Special Award for Performing Arts in 2020.
Bongiwe “Mthwakazi Chosi” Lusizi is a singer, song-writer, musical and rural activist, and the founder of Chosi Chosi Creative Academy has a practical and theoretical curriculum that integrates different art forms across multiple disciplines. The curriculum is divided into three main pillars: Agro-Musicology, Preparation and Performances, and Healing the Activist. AgroMusicology is the study of soil, land and how these work together to produce calabashes globally. The study of Agro-Musicology includes calabash planting, harvesting, fashioning, making of traditional bow instruments and a library of African indigenous instruments and seeds. The curriculum also includes vocal training, scales adapted from different indigenous groups of the diaspora, and movements that prepare the mind, body and soul for healing. The curriculum grounds itself in healing the activist, and exposes the children to the history of Apartheid and inequality in South Africa and the United States. The curriculum educates the children about the dehumanization and displacement of black people and how we can find healing and promote pro-blackness, being comfortable in your own skin and the need to remain grounded in our identity despite how wounded we have become. Chosi Chosi.