All is set again for the production and activation of TheatreMania Africa Festival (TAF) as the International Central Working Committee (ICWC) of the Festival recently announced the Ambassadors of the March 2017 slated TAF billed to take place in Nigeria. TheatreMania Africa Festival (TAF) is the first all-encompassing All Africa Theatre Production/Creative Industry Awards & Festival, evolving from the African root aimed at re-writing the African story to the world in a positive way.
The names unveiled by the organizers of the awards include Akin Lewis, Norbert Young, Doris Simeon, Owen Gee (Nigeria), Thandekile Grace Maseko, Sibongile Maria Phakathi (South Africa), Zani Michelle Chiumia a.k.a Zani Challe (Malawi) and Uncle Ebo Whyte (Ghana).
The CEO & Co-Founder of TAF, Mr. Alayande Stephen T. also added that ” The lineup of the Ambassadors shows a repertoire of seasoned entertainment practitioners whose field range from theatre to screen, music and even comedy. They are not just lovers of stage production but they are passionate about the African culture and story.
Interestingly, they are also a mixture of experienced and young at heart individuals who are determined to pass the unwavering torch of theatre/stage production to the next generation. Some of them have even made laudable contributions into ensuring that theatre performance is constantly on the rise in Africa, hence, the Ambassadors would be advocating extensively on the TAF 2016/17 theme styled “PEACE IN AFRICA” he concluded.
TAF is a not just an award festival like every others but also a system meant to appreciate African Acts (Thespians) and those who have slaved tirelessly for the theatre. The award is expected to pull a constellation of stars in a cluster to celebrate and be celebrated but more importantly help heal Africa through the ‘PEACE IN AFRICA’ initiative.
In the words of Malawian actress, singer and On Air Personality (OAP); Zani Challe, who spoke about the diversity of the ambassadors said “I feel really honored to be picked as one of the ambassadors for the festival. Seeing how diverse we are in culture and tradition will in no small measure create a reverberating effect on the journey we are about to embark upon and I would be really delighted to see the whole of Africa stand up in unison to help echo the
‘PEACE IN AFRICA’ mantra we all so crave for”, the sultry actress added.
The mission of the annual theatre festival is to produce a world-class, television stage drama/dance/ music/artistic performance award ceremony that will promote and add value to Africa and the Entertainment industry in Africa through a standard/international broadcast machinery.
Doris Simeon, a Nollywood Diva and one of the Ambassadors also shared her thoughts on the honour saying “the minutes the whole thing was pitched to me I fell in love with it and I stopped to think and it didn’t take long before I understood why they birth the idea; it was simple. Music, TV, Radio and Social media seems to be getting the buzz these days and all these emanated from stage performances and I am flushed faced right just trying to phantom the fact that I am helping to move theatre to the next level; I don’t think recognition gets any bigger than that. I am definitely throwing my weight behind the movement 100%”, she boasted.
This project is an initiative of Theatremania Africa Concepts with the support of the Principal Partners of the project from South Africa, Content Africa Initiative (PTY) Ltd and supported by Oyotunji Village (North America), Premium World Brand Management, Eagles House Global Resources, Black Image Theatre Production and Total Recall Media Limited. For enquiries- Stephen – +234 8066627610, Eppie (South Africa)- +27827547292.
BRIEF BIO ON THE EIGHT AMBASSADORS
(1) Akin Lewis (Nigeria)
He is by all standard a veteran Nollywood & a trained stage actor. He has contributed over 40 years of his life into the movie/theatre world. From the 70’s award winning soap series” The Adventures of S.K Adio alias Why Worry on WNTV which later became NTA, Ibadan today to stage plays like Zulu Sofola’s Wedlocks of the gods, Wole Soyinka’s Biko Inquest, Carrol Dawes’ Dream on Monkey Mountains etc,, his versatility and diligence stood him out. His love for the Theatre didn’t diminish till date.
(2) Sibongile Maria Phakathi (South Africa)
Sibongile Phakathi is the face of the SABC2 sitcom, Majakathata. The actress from Soweto is a consummate lover of Theatre, she has over the years participated in several stage plays with Voice of Kilimanjaro (South Africa). Alongside her group of Voice of Kilimanjaro, they shook Johannesburg and its environ with the play their advocacy play that dwells on XENOPHOBIA. She has also worked as a back-up singer before starting up as a gospel artiste. She is into Industrial theatre, film acting and other creative performances.
(3) Norbert Young (Nigeria)
Another Veteran Nollywood Actor and a trained Stage Thespian. He is reputed for his very vocal stance on issues as concerning the Nollywood Industry and Nigeria Creative Space as a whole. He runs a Drama School where he churn out periodically best of actors for the Industry. The graduate of UNIBEN still believe so much in stage acting as the best platform to train actors. He is a staunch supporter of theatre industry in Nigeria.
(4) Thandekile Maseko (Swaziland/South Africa)
This Swaziland born South African TINSEL actress is no doubt a staunch supporter of the Stage Production, from Swaziland to South Africa and then to Nigeria. This rising star has excelled in several Africa Magic endorsed soap series projects like TINSEL, Lincoln’s Clan, The Dragons etc.
(5) Zani Challe (Malawi)
She is the leader of the new school entertainer from the Southern part of Africa with special focus on her country Malawi and South Africa. An amazing actress who broke out few years ago playing the role of Omolola Smith in Africa Magic endorsed Soap series (The Dragons). Like a blog said “If entertainment was a pot of gold, then Zani Challe has the Midas touch. She is a Singer , Actress, Model, TV Presenter and recording artist” . But what the writer forgot was that she is also a Dancer and On-Air Personality, yet she is a passionate lover of stage productions. She is a bundle of talent all put together. Her musical video collaboration with Patoraking titled Single Tonight received a lot of accolades across Africa.
(6) Doris Simeon (Nigeria)
This delectable AMAA Award winning Nollywood Diva has built an enviable career for herself over a decade ago. She has many Nollywood films to her credit as well as being part of the campaign to drive traffic back to the stage via Black Image’s Celebrity Theatre Initiative. She is a philanthropist who cares for the less privilege. Also, she is the face of Theatremania Creative Academy.
(7) Uncle Ebo Whyte (Ghana)
Mr. James Ebo Whyte popularly known as Uncle Ebo Whyte is ironically a Marketer by profession. No wonder all is productions in Ghana is always supported by one brand or the other. He started writing and producing plays since 1975. Some of his plays are Man Must Live, The Trial, Widows Confession, Devil’s Wife, Wedding behind Closed Door and Unhappy Wives; Confused Husbands etc. He has over the years contributed immensely to the growth of theatre productions and creative art in Accra and the entire Ghana. He is the CEO of Roverman Productions, Accra, Ghana. His production outfit has evolved over time, innovating different creative means of sustaining the popular culture of stage productions yet driving traffic of people to theatre domes
(8) Owen Gee( Nigeria)
Owen Osamwengie, popularly known as Owen Gee, is a gifted comedian, singer, dancer and actor. This multiple award winning entertainer has been involved in a lot of diverse activities to further express his creativity. He worked with Africa Magic on his crazy skits for several years before he started working with Total Recall Media Ltd where they are presently producing an award winning comedy talk show-Buzz Live With Owen Gee. He is a lover of anything creative.