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Tuesday, October 4, 2011


(Collette Elliot and Candice Lewis appear in costumes designed by Jannie Engelbrecht in the Snazzi Viva Las Vegas Show. Pic courtesy of Linda van der Veen)

This tribute to the late costume and set designer Jannie Engelbrecht comes from Linda van der Veen, Managing Director of Snazzi Solutions.

“Jannie was Snazzi Solution’s primary costume designer and manufacturer for the past 10 years and became a close friend. Jannie and Hugo (le Roux) spent many a night working to meet our incredibly tight deadlines. Between the two of them they made a superb team and their creativeness was much to be admired.

Jannie had the ability to interpret our requirements and design themed outfits or costumes to suit our performers, our working crew and our clients. He manufactured outfits from waistcoats for waiters, to choir hats and collars, to themed hostess outfits, Vegas Girl feathered costumes, to dancers and singers costumes for the extensive shows and launches that our entertainment division has put on for our corporate events.

Today, Snazzi Solutions has a costume wardrobe full of these amazing outfits that are a legacy to Jannie, such as the one pictured above. “

A further tribute comes from Professor Debbie Lutge, from the Department of Drama & Production Studies at the Durban University of Technology:

“Jannie Engelbrecht in collaboration with his partner designed and made all the costumes for the world premiere of Genbia Hyla’s People of Heaven. Their designs were a unique synthesis of African print, rural village regalia, wire headdresses, giant masks, classical Greek robes and contemporary fantasy. Their creative designs lent the new work an innovative visual order that captured a mix of Afro-centric and Eurocentric design in a fusion that imaginatively combined cosmological figures, traditionalist, modernity, anthropomorphized character, no mean feat.

This creative spirit was again visible in their set design for Rajesh Gopie’s The Coolie Odyssey, a multifunctional set that catered for a boat, a plantation mansion, indentured servant quarters cleverly opening up a myriad of potential constructs and contexts. The artistry and warmth of Jannie Engelbrecht and Hugo Le Roux will be sorely missed in the arts community as will their passion for theatre, a passion that encouraged so many extraordinary artistic and inspired visual designs.“

Jannie Engelbrecht’s funeral will take place at the Frere Road Presbyterian Church in Umbilo at 11h00 on Thursday, October 6.

No flowers by request. In lieu of flowers, suggest donations to the National Creative Arts Youth Festival to create a floating trophy for Best Costume Design. This trophy will be presented annually along with the trophy created in honour of Jannie’s life partner, the late Hugo le Roux, who died a mere two months ago. Together, these trophies will continue to support Jannie and Hugo’s passion for the artistic development of young people.

Bank details as follows: National Creative Arts Youth Festival, Standard Bank, Florida Branch, Branch Code: 042726; Current Account Number: 051 321 637 Reference: Jannie. Donors are asked to email or fax proof of payment to the festival on email: or 086 672 5497 so that their contribution can be acknowledged. These donations are tax deductible.