2023 Festival Speakers


Neo Muyanga

A composer, musician and librettist, travels the world telling stories hidden in plain sight with music. Born in Soweto, more or less resident in Cape Town, he studied the Italian madrigal tradition with the choral maestro Piero Poclen, in Trieste, Italy. His operate, The Flower of Shembe, premiered to wide acclaim in 2012.

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Abubakar Suleiman

Abubakar Suleiman has 25 years experience in consulting and financial services and is  currently the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank Plc.   He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Abuja and a Master of  Science in Major Programme Management from the University of Oxford.  His previous work experience includes tax advisory at Arthur Andersen and financial […]

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Songezo Zibi

Songezo Zibi is a well-known South African journalist, editor, and author who has written extensively about the country’s political system, economy, and social dynamics. Songezo Zibi has more than 20 years of corporate experience, during which time he has been a communication and corporate affairs professional and a leader in diverse industries. Since 2007, he has been a consistent and […]

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Liubov Abravitova

Liubov Abravitova is the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of South Africa, Mozambique, and Botswana. Her journey in this role was preceded by her appointment as Counsellor at the Embassy of Ukraine in Pretoria, which she assumed in January 2017. Before this, she distinguished herself as the Counsellor of the Middle East and Africa Department at the Ministry of […]

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Dr. Adrian Enthoven

Dr Adrian Enthoven holds the position of Executive Chairman at Yellowwoods, a global private investment group. He oversees the group’s African investments, which encompass financial services, hospitality, and wine sectors.  His civic engagements encompass initiatives aimed at addressing critical issues such as youth employment, education, social justice, and the arts. Notably, he serves as Deputy Chairman at the Solidarity Fund […]

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Koyo Kouoh

Koyo Kouoh, the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz MOCAA, brings a wealth of experience in curating meaningful exhibitions. She has curated shows across the globe, published notable works, and received prestigious awards. At Zeitz MOCAA, she focuses on in-depth solo exhibitions by African artists. Kouoh’s impact spans Cape Town, Dakar, and Basel, creating a profound influence on the art world.

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Moeletsi Mbeki

Moeletsi Mbeki is a South African political economist, analyst, entrepreneur, and author of three books – Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing, A Manifesto for Social Change, and Zimbabwe Before and After the Elections.  He holds directorial positions in several companies. In addition, he takes on the role of Deputy Chairman at the South African Institute for International […]

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Tulio de Oliveira

Prof. Tulio de Oliveira, the director of the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), played a leading role in the response to COVID-19 in South Africa through his visionary application of genomics and bioinformatics.

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Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India   Montek Singh Ahluwalia was most recently Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, a Cabinet level position, which he held from July 2004 till May 2014. He has been a key figure in India’s economic reforms since the mid-1980s. Before joining the Government of India Mr. Ahluwalia held various positions in the […]

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Abdulrazak Gurnah

Novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in 1948 on the island of Zanzibar off the coast of East Africa. He came to Britain as a student in 1968. He is on the advisory board of the journal Wasafiri and lives in Canterbury, after retiring as a professor of English at the University of Kent. His first three novels, Memory of Departure […]

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