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Friday, August 3, 2018


(Pauline Dalais)

A multi-faceted personality in the arts in Durban and a key member of the artSMart team, Pauline Dalais received a richly-deserved award on August 1 - the 2018 Rising Sun/Radhika Talks Legendary Woman Award for her contribution to the empowerment of women.

The awards event took place at the Rising Sun/Radhika Talks Womens Day Breakfast where the organisers acknowledged four outstanding women who have made a notable contribution to the empowerment of women in their respective fields.

Dalais was awarded alongside the Mayor of eThekwini, Councillor Zandile Gumede, businesswoman Margaret Hirsch, and Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi leader of the Minority Front.

Dalais was born in Cato Manor during the apartheid era to mixed race parents (Zulu father and Indian mother). She was raised in Wentworth and Newlands East and schooled at the Durban East Primary School, Umbilo Secondary and Wentworth High.

Her first jobs were as a sales assistant and jewellery manufacturing in a curio store, moving on to become a Woolworths sales assistant. She then became Librarian and Magazine Convenor for Tape Aids For The Blind and then started working as a PA for well-known arts practitioner, Caroline Smart, doing administration for the artSMart website and running the former ArtStand at the Essenwood Road Craft Market.

“Having 14 years’ experience in working in arts and entertainment, on projects from conception to planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting, with a proven track record of building and maintaining business relationships on different levels; my creatively driven nature to explore new ideas; thinking out of the box, and problem-solving skills, essential for managing key areas in business, could be well suited to a professional organisation where my skills and knowledge can be applied and enhanced to effectively achieve the organisational goals,” she explains.

She describes herself as “a good listener who works confidently in a group and individually to identify opportunities and solutions while adapting successfully to changing situations or environments with determination to achieve goals while maintaining values with respect of others’ ideas and opinions. I am a strategic thinker who has the ability to also think on my feet as and when the need arises. I enjoy motivating others and take every opportunity to learn and grow from experiences to continuously develop my skills, knowledge and aptitude professionally and personally.”

She worked closely with the late Peter Gardner of Troubadour Productions, a costume hire and casting agency.

She is the KwaZulu-Natal Co-Ordinator, for ASSITEJ SA and is also an artistic manager, agent, actress and assistant production manager. She has worked on stage, screen and television and was Mrs Singh Singh in Lotus FM’s long-running radio series, Lollipop Lane

She is the administration and recital assistant for Friends Of Music. She is also the South African Liaison Officer for director John Foreman, UK based founder of Music Monde, a worldwide music school.

“I am humbled and grateful to have received this award and profoundly so at the start of Women’s Month. I enjoy what I do in the arts and never do it for accolades or rewards. Hence, I am extremely grateful to The Rising Sun/Radhika Talks for taking note. As women, we should continue building women. The world of the arts is not for financial gain. It is more passion driven and when the bug bites, it is hard to shrug off. If you love what you do, it becomes a part of your lifestyle and not a job. Find your passion, set the pace, lead the pack and … just keep on doing good until good is all you see in the world,” Dalais adds.