national Arts Festival Banner

Saturday, April 16, 2016


(Ismail Mahomed. Pic by Suzy Bernstein)

The Council of the Market Theatre Foundation has announced the appointment of Ismail Mahomed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Market Theatre Foundation. He will assume this position on August 1, 2016.

Council Chair Kwanele Gumbi, commenting on this appointment, noted “Mr Mahomed brings a wealth of public and private experience in arts management to his new position. He has a wide-ranging network of artistic and funding relationships at the local, national, and international levels that will be crucial in achieving the Market Theatre's potential and ambitions to be a global leader in the arts.”

In response to his appointment, Mahomed expressed his enthusiasm for this newest challenge, saying, “From 1976, when the lights first went on at the Market Theatre, it has played a significant role in articulating and documenting our nation’s hopes, fears, anger and aspirations. It is an iconic South African institution with a world-class reputation. I look forward to joining hands with its incredibly talented and passionate team, guided by a supportive and visionary Council to trail-blaze opportunities that the Theatre can nurture for South African artists nationally and internationally.”

This appointment comes as a particularly challenging time for the Market Theatre in raising funds for its ambitious artistic programmes, as well as in addressing its newest responsibility - reviving the Windybrow Centre, located in a historic building in the downtown Johannesburg neighbourhood of Hillbrow.

Mahomed has served for eight years as Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Prior to that, he was a Senior Cultural Specialist for the American Embassy. Earlier, he had been the head of the Witbank Civic Theatre. Among many accolades, he was named as the Arts & Culture Trust's "Arts Administrator of the Year" in 2006. At the beginning of 2016 he received the award, Chevalier et des Artes et des Lettres, from the French Government.