Nondumiso Tembe conquering the entertainment world

Nondumiso’s performance ambition is “to achieve excellence, to do work that has a meaningful impact on the world and has longevity”.  This goal continues to be realised with her performance in the role of Grace Rwaramba, the nanny to Michael Jackson’s children in the recent US released movie entitled Searching for Neverland.  Nondumiso says that she felt honoured to play this role as Grace was one of “his closest friends and confidantes who saw everything and as such, they developed quite a complicated and tumultuous relationship.  She loved him very much and was fiercely protective of him.”

Nondumiso Tembe matriculated from Crawford College North Coast in the Class of 2001 with big dreams of becoming famous in the world of entertainment. She has indeed made her dreams a reality, as she continues to soar as one of Africa’s brightest international stars of stage and screen.  After matriculating, she headed directly for New York to enrol for a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, with majors in Theatre and Political Science at New York’s New School University.  During this time, she spent an exchange at the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford University in England, where she studied Classical Theatre.  She has also completed part-time studies in Ballet at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and African Dance at the Djoniba African Dance and Drum Centre.

With these dramatic skills, she stood out in auditions, and notched up some notable credits, including her intense portrayal of Mavis, the tragic Creole maid, in the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning show “True Blood”; the feisty and scandalous Miss Mya in SA’s popular TV show, “Generations”; a cameo role in Marvel’s “Avenger II” movie, and as the fierce Fanta in the international mini-series entitled a “Book of Negroes”.  She is also performing in the new TV military-drama entitled SIX and the lead role in the film Zulu Wedding.  Her extensive theatre work includes performances at some of the US’s most prestigious theatres, including the McCarter Theatre at Princeton, the Yale’s Repertory Theatre, Columbia’s Miller Theatre, Boston’s Court Theatre, and LA’s Walt Disney Studios.

She has gone on to successfully complete a Masters of Fine Arts Degree, specialising in Acting at the prestigious Yale School of Drama.  In 2012 she won the Best Lead Actress Award at the Mercury Theatre Award Ceremony for her tour-de-force performance in the title role of “Cinderella” in SA’s revival of Rogers’ and Hammerstein’s classical musical.  In 2014, she won the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Award at the Naledi Theatre Award Ceremony for her razor-sharp portrayal of the ferocious young lawyer, Susan, in David Mamet’s provocative play “Race” in the successful SA tour, which culminated in a triumphant run at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival, in Scotland.

As an accomplished singer and songwriter, this multi-talented artist’s critically-acclaimed debut album “IZWI LAMI” (My Voice) won the 2011 Metro FM Music Award for Best Music Video, and received a nomination for Best Female Album, as well as a nomination for a SA Traditional Music Award in the Best Ethno Soul Artist category. This eclectic album was the product of her writing twelve original tracks, featuring collaborations with Maskandi music legends’ Madala Kunene and Phuz’Ekhemisi, as well as the popular SA Hip Hop artist Young Nations. This album succeeded with two hit singles and music videos. One of which, entitled “Black Gold” marked her artistic production and directorial debut.

She is a passionate socio-politically conscious artist who has used her voice as a vehicle to effect positive change in her local and international communities. In 2011, after serving on the Board of Directors of Yale University’s Black Alumni Association, Nondumiso was nominated as a “Global Shaper” by the World Economic Forum.  She was the first black actress to lead a multi-racial cast in a major theatrical production in post-Apartheid SA.  She sang at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebration in Qunu, performed two powerful tribute performances at the UN’s UNESCO International Africa Day Celebrations (2012), and the 50th anniversary of the Rivonia Trials (2013).  And finally, as a presenter, she co-hosted the 123rd International Olympics Committee Opening Ceremony in Durban.

This illustrious record of achievements is held in even higher esteem when we realise the short period of time in which it has been achieved. But then, Nondumiso was never one to sit around and watch life pass her by.

#OldCrawfordian #CrawfordPride #WhereAreTheyNow


Profile: Deborah Weber

Deborah Weber matriculated from Crawford College Sandton in 1997 with an A aggregate. She studied at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts, from which she graduated in 2004. She is currently completing her MA(FA) postgraduate degree at the University of Cape Town, focusing on the theme of art collaboration.

She has worked as a Brand and Marketing Manager for WWF (2011 to 2014), Advertising Manager for Design Indaba (2007 to 2011) and Communications Manager for Cape Africa Platform (2005 to 2007). Prior to this she worked at the Bell-Roberts Gallery and interned with the Trinity Sessions. Recent collaborative art projects include (2014) the Karoo Disclosure Collaboration about fracking in the Karoo. Karoo Disclosure has been shown at Iziko’s South African Museum (2015), and recently at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum (2017). Her second collaborative project Ubulungiswa/Justice Collaboration (2015), launched at the Michaelis Graduate Exhibition (2015). She recently co-ordinated the 2017 Earth Hour Campaign for WWF-SA and Project Managed the interior installation of the WWF new green four-story building in Braamfontein. She also works closely and in collaboration with artist and Crawford alumni Gina Waldman.

She is currently working with her Fiancé Stuart Rothgiesser to build ROTH Communications while she completes her MAFA. She is also a mother of one son.

Deborah said “Crawford provided me the creative freedom to be myself and yet still achieve excellent academic results and participate in sport. Principal Morag Rees was my art teacher at the time and Janet Mclaren my Drama teacher, both these teachers had a profound lasting impact on my career and personal development. I cannot thank them enough. I also made life-long friends and business networks while at Crawford. I matriculated in the class of 1997, the first year that went from Grade 7 to matric at Crawford when the school was still situated in Killarney and Graeme Crawford was the principal. He was a passionate educator, inspiring principal, and visionary businessman. It started out as a family run school and became the success story it is today. I remember the day the school was sold and all the students received free gym memberships. The class of 1997 saw the first in many of the Crawford traditions including fashion shows and a 10-year reunion.”


Profile: Dr. Aayesha Soni

Dr. Aayesha Soni is a Community Service Doctor at Helen Joseph Hospital. She completed the Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery from the University of Witwatersrand at the age of 23,  and she was the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s sponsorship from her first year until completion.

“However, it is not her academic record that drives her medical passion, but rather a deep sense of empathy and compassion for the underprivileged coupled with her strong sense of justice and integrity that governs her”  Zaakir Mayet, attorney, and colleague. Aayesh is the Vice-Chairperson of the Media Review Network, a South African based internationally recognized NGO committed to ideals of human rights and justice globally. She is also a corresponding author on an academic case report published in the British Journal of Neurosurgery this year as well as an author on a health-related human rights article in The Insider of the South African Journal in 2014

In addition to written publications, Aayesha has delivered many oral presentations and interviews on her representation of marginalized people and has appeared on ENCA, ANN7, SABC News and various local radio stations. She is the nominee of the Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans 2017,!

This Old Crawfordian was in the matric class of 2008 at Crawford College Sandton. This is how she fondly remembers Crawford “I will forever be grateful for the dynamic and open-minded learning environment that I spent my high-school years in, as well as the wonderful fluidity in every aspect that is so uniquely Crawford which always promoted excellence. Every individual was always encouraged to excel in the best possible way that THEY could, and it was this backbone of an education in life and academics that has propelled me into all of my successful endeavours as an adult today.”