South African Cultural Observatory

Business and Arts South Africa Welcomes New CEO

BY Kwakhona Jubase 03.04.19

The board of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) has officially introduced and welcomed their new Chief Executive officer, Ashraf Johaardien who joined the organization on 01 March, 2019. He has taken over from the successful leadership and legacy of Nicola Danby, and then, Michelle Constant after two decades. Nonetheless, Ashraf’s fundamental background in artistry and arts administration has made him a suitable candidate for the position, and has given him the potential to drive BASA towards more success.

The new CEO is skilled professionally and creatively in the arts sector, with 20 years of experience. He is a multi-award-winning playwright, an actor as well as a producer. He began his career within the arts funding environment in the 1990s, where he worked under Mannie Manim as a Fundraising Manager at the Baxter Theatre, which is widely known as the home of outstanding South African theatre and performance. He has since worked as General Manager of the Arts and Culture Trust(ACT), General Manager of the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) theatre, Head of Arts and Culture at the University of Johannesburg(UJ), as well as being Executive Producer of the National Arts Festival.

Business and Arts South Africa views itself as a development agency, which aims to be the leading connector catalyst and resource, supporting a better understanding of the arts by business, while also continuing to advocate an arts culture in society. Ashraf Johaardien has stated that at its core, ‘the purpose of BASA is to make relevant to business the role and purpose of art in society’. Which it does by providing creatives and arts organisations with the skills and knowledge to enable them to effectively engage with businesses, providing supporting grants that encourage business-arts partnerships, as well as conducting research which provides crucial insights for both artist and corporates.

In regards to his new position, Johaardien has said, ‘I think it’s an amazing organisation, it’s been very present, I think that the look and feel of BASA is very fresh and sharp and I really enjoy that. And I think that both Nicola and Michelle have done outstanding jobs, so really I would like to build on their successes’. He continued to say he is excited about the possibilities and is thrilled to be entering an organisation which occupies such a prestigious platform and position in the industry. ‘BASA is hugely respected, so I’m really excited and looking forward to the possibilities’.

 

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