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Business and Arts South Africa appoints new CEO

Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) has announced who will succeed current CEO Michelle Constant when she steps down end February 2019.

Says Charmaine Soobramoney, BASA Chairperson: “When Michelle announced her decision to pursue other interests after a decade of achievement with BASA, the board knew finding a successor would not be an easy task. After a robust recruitment period, Ashraf Johaardien’s strategic business and arts experience, his vision for how to lead BASA in its third decade and his appreciation for how the arts can truly be a job creator and social cohesion facilitator, made him the successful candidate. On behalf of the BASA board, I congratulate Ashraf and also thank Michelle for her contribution and unwavering commitment.”
     Johaardien is a seasoned manager with 20 years of arts administration experience in progressively senior leadership roles across a spectrum of creative and cultural disciplines. He has experience in integrated interdisciplinary programme design and delivery and is recognised as a consistently high-performing arts specialist with an ability to translate organisational needs into effective strategies and operationalising these for measurable results. Prior to his joining the National Arts Festival (NAF) as Executive Producer in 2015, Johaardien was Head of Arts & Culture at the University of Johannesburg and worked at numerous bodies such as the Arts & Culture Trust and the Wits Theatre.
     Johaardien will conclude his current role as Executive Producer for the National Arts Festival (NAF) and take over as BASA CEO on 1 March 2019. Says Johaardien: “I am very excited by the opportunity to work with the BASA team, the board, the Department of Arts and Culture, and our many other vital stakeholders.  BASA’s vision and mission powerfully resonate with my own purpose as a creative catalyst and my drive to play a meaningful role in brokering partnerships which have deliberate value for the benefit of all South Africans.”
     “NAF is Africa’s premiere showcase of arts, culture and creativity. I have been involved with the Festival for more than two decades in various ways and being part of the core team over the last few years has truly been a privilege. I look forward to continuing that association in my new capacity.”
     Soobramoney says: “The BASA board believes in using art to influence the mood, souls, growth and the inner-world of South Africans. We welcome Ashraf and believe in his ability and passion  to drive this influence and the BASA strategy from March 2019 into the future.”

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