Lekasapa dances her way to great theatre job
The 60th anniversary of National Women’s Month brought with it good tidings for enterprising and rising performing arts star Lindiwe Lekasapa.
The former high school dancer and arts enthusiast realised her dream when the Johannesburg City Theatres Company, a City of Johannesburg performing arts entity, brought her on board as a Junior Producer on August 1, putting her at the coalface of theatre production in the City’s three theatres – Johannesburg, Roodepoort and Soweto.
“I couldn’t believe it when I received a call informing me I was the new Junior Producer at the Joburg City Theatres and I was starting work on the first day of Women’s Month,” says Lekasapa.
Self-determination and belief, she says, have played an integral role in shaping her career.
“Nothing will ever happen unless you make it happen,” says the dynamic Lekasapa about her climb to the cutting edge of the performing arts space in the City of Johannesburg.
Johannesburg City Theatres CEO Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema says Lekasapa’s skills and experience will prove invaluable “in leading the organisation forward and in attracting and supporting world-class productions”.
After matriculating in 2000, financial constraints prevented the aspiring arts management enthusiast from pursuing her studies at university. So she joined an arts community group instead and completed a short course in personal computing through Rosebank College. Although this proved useful later in her career, it was not really what she was looking for.
She then secured a learnership in performing arts at the Moving into Dance Mophatong a dance school in Johannesburg, where she also did a short course in bookkeeping. She completed her Level 4 FET Learnership and Performing Arts in 2005.
“I’ve always been passionate about the arts in general and dance in particular. While dancing at [Moving into Dance] I desired to do more, which is when I applied for the reception post. Through determination and determination, I worked my way up to where I am now today,” she says.
For the past five years she was General Manager at the Dance Forum, where she gained invaluable experience in office and arts management, programming, producing, project management and financial management through her involvement in the various editions of the International Dance Umbrella Festival, Danse lÁfrique Danse, New Dance Festival and Joburg Arts Alive.
In her current role, Lekasapa works closely with the Artistic Director and Executive Producer to host in-house productions, co-productions as well as tenant hires.
“The programme can get very hectic and important things can be easily overlooked. It is, therefore, very important to have a junior producer as the assistant and the second eye of the Executive Producer. I’m a self-motivated person and hope to continue growing in both my personal and professional capacity. I’m hoping this new position pushes me to the next level and that my contribution to the company is invaluable and takes it to the next level,” she adds.
On being a female in the theatre and arts sector, Lekasapa says there are no gender-based boundaries but success is achieved through hard work and self-determination.
“A very important lesson to learn is that no one owes you anything. Stop looking for a pat on your shoulder and start moving mountains to achieve your dreams,” she says.
She explains that it is a great opportunity for her to be part of a big institution that will expose her to a different art forms.
“The past three weeks have been exciting and I've learned that at the Joburg Theatre no two days are the same,” she says.
Lekasapa is looking forward to attracting new people to the City’s theatres. Asked what she is currently busy with, Lekasapa says the Joburg Theatre is collaborating on a play titled Mosali eo o ile Mpha with the Market Theatre.