Ismail Mahomed. Festival Director. National Arts Festival.

Market Theatre CEO steps down

Lusanda Zokufa 

The Council of the Market Theatre Foundation (MTF) has announced the resignation of CEO Ismail Mahomed.

  The Market Theatre Foundation said Mahomed took the reins in August 2016 after his eight-year stint as artistic director of the National Arts Festival. With more than 35 years’ experience in the arts sector, he is a multi-award-winning cultural administrator.

   His last working day will be 30 June 2020.

  Chairman of Council Gerald Dumas said the Market Theatre Foundation excelled locally and internationally during Mahomed’s tenure. 

  “The partnerships fostered by him and his team go a long way in maintaining the MTF’s position as a leading international arts institution,” said Dumas.

  Mahomed has overseen operations and provided leadership for the four business units; Market Theatre, Market Theatre Laboratory, Market Photo Workshop and the Windybrow Arts Centre, and developed a unified administrative system which included a revision of policies and development of standard operating procedures.

  He drove the activation of the Windybrow Arts Centre as a multi-cultural business unit of the Market Theatre Foundation. In partnership with the Coloured Cube and Sticky Situations he established the two Pan-African Reading Rooms at the centre. 

  He directed the restructuring and re-envisioning of the Market Theatre Laboratory, and under the leadership of Clara Vaughan championed the Market Theatre Laboratory into becoming an income generating business unit, which has diversified and grown its programming without losing its commitment to provide quality education for marginalized students.

  He re-activated the Kippies venue which had remained dormant for over 10 years, and which now serves as an alternative space directed by Jefferson Tshabalala for independent artists. He supported the establishment of the Kwasha Theatre Company for young graduates, which since its establishment in 2018, has secured international funding, win awards and secure invitations to international tours. He introduced an internship programme at the Market Theatre Foundation for new graduates.

  Mahomed has strengthened partnerships through international diplomatic missions which have resulted in international collaborations with artists from the African continent Europe, Asia and North & South Americas. 

  This also led to several fully funded international exchanges which included MTF personnel participating in cultural exchange programmes in South Korea, Columbia, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, France, UK and the USA. 

  There are several other projects which include hosting the International Atelier for Festival Managers for the first time on the African continent.

  “With the support of the council, colleagues and stakeholders who remained focused to our core objectives we achieved several more milestones. I thank the partners and stakeholders I worked with to build on the legacy of the founding fathers of the Market Theatre Foundation,” said Mahomed.

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