Partners & People

VANSA’s core team, board members, partner organisations, funders and friends.



Our Johannesburg office has a small but dedicated team that drives the organisation. Find out more about them here.

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Refilwe Nkomo



Refilwe Nkomo is a Johannesburg based multidisciplinary artist, curator, educator and community organiser producing cultural and artistic interventions, programmes and installations using various mediums including performance, video, text and dance at the intersection of arts and social justice. Her research, workshops and performance have been the recipient of numerous awards and presented in South Korea, Ghana, Botswana, Brazil, Germany and the United States of America. She has founded organisations and platforms including We Are Here (WAH), a non-profit organisation working with men and boys to dismantle gender-based violence, founded in 2010. She holds a B.Bus.Sci degree from the University of Cape Town and a Masters in Arts and Politics from New York University (Tisch School of the Arts|Art and Public Policy). Refilwe serves on the leadership committee of IMPACT (Imagining together Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation) and is a Clore Chevening Fellow 2019/2020. She was previously co-director of !Kauru Contemporary Art.

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Katlego Taunyane

Network Programmes Manager


Katlego is a Network Programmes Manager at VANSA, a violin teacher, performer, and arts development practitioner, with a background in theatre, dance, film and literature. He studied classical music performance at the University of Cape Town, and he is interested in shaping the development of the arts as a whole within South Africa.

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Lauren von Gogh

Network Programmes Manager


Lauren is a Network Programmes Manager at VANSA, co-founder of the artist-run platform Sober & Lonely, and an ultra-distance runner. She studied Fine Arts at Wits followed by various non-degree programmes in studio and curatorial practice at the HISK, Mountain School, and Machine Project.

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Tokologo Mphaki

Junior Network Programmes Manager


Tokologo recently completed her B Tech in Fine and Applied Arts from Tshwane University of Technology. She uses her artistic skills in drawing and painting as a form of activism, tackling social issues around South Africa. Tokologo has participated in various group exhibitions including "Imbokodo Pillars of Strength" at the Ditsong Cultural Museum in Pretoria. She enjoys using her skills and knowledge to inspire others to develop a passion for art and art history.


The VANSA board shapes the organisation’s work and helps the VANSA team to steer in the right direction. Part of building the current board has been possible through the generous support of BASA.

Dee Marco

Dee is a feminist scholar, writer and cultural consumer. She holds a PhD in Film and Television Studies from the University of Warwick in the UK. Dee's research focuses on visual culture broadly and critically engages theories and practices of race, gender and intersectional identities in cultural work and spaces. Dee was a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape for two years, and she has taught in Film and Television, Gender Studies and History of Art departments at Rhodes University, UWC and UCT. Dee joined the Wits Media Studies Department at the beginning of 2018.

Gabrielle Goliath

Gabrielle situates her practice within contexts marked by the races, disparities and as-of-yet unreconciled traumas of colonialism and apartheid, as well as socially entrenched structures of patriarchal power and rape-culture. Enabling opportunities for affective, relational encounters, she seeks to resist the violence through which black, brown, feminine, queer and vulnerable bodies are routinely fixed through forms of representation. Gabrielle has exhibited widely and has won a number of awards including a Future Generation Art Prize/Special Prize (2019), the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award (2019), as well as the Institut Français, Afrique en Créations Prize at the Bamako Biennale (2017). Her work features in numerous public and private collections. Gabrielle is currently a Ph.D. candidate with the Institute for Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Nothando Mkhize

Nothando was born in kwaMsane, Northern KwaZulu-Natal in 1986. She is currently doing her MA in Fine Art at Durban University of Technology. She is an education officer at the Durban Art Gallery under eThekwini Municipality and an executive member of the KwaZulu-Natal Arts & Culture Counsel. Previously she has cofounded the Zululand Crafters Association and was an art programme manager at iSimangaliso Wetland Park which is one of only two world heritage sites in South Africa. Nothando is passionate about the holistic development of arts as a viable vehicle for social transformation and economic development.


Songezile Madikida

Songezile obtained his BA (Fine Arts) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 2001; he participated in a cultural exchange programme between the University of the Witwatersrand from South Africa and Umea Academy from Sweden. He then registered for Masters with the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2002 Songezile was selected to participate in two international projects: an Art Residency Programme in Norway and an internship in Museum Curatorship at the Musee de Arts de Afrique de Oceanie in Paris, France. In 2007 he was one of the few artists selected to represent the African continent in Dokumenta 12 in Germany. Madikida is currently a practicing artist with several groups and solo exhibitions and awards. He is also contracted to the Nelson Mandela Museum as a consultant to Manage the Nelson Mandela Museum Arts Incubator Programme.

Tanisha Bhana

Tanisha is a senior attorney in the segment of the global market in the financial services industry and a visual artist. She has held solo exhibitions in South Africa and Germany and participated in curated exhibitions in South Africa, France, Germany, Netherlands, Namibia, China and Romania. Her photographic imagery is taken from naturally challenging environments such as nuclear wastelands, landfill sites and natural and urban ecosystems susceptible to change. Tanisha has held discussions on the topics of Rebirth, Transformation and Decomposition for strategic sessions and has displayed artwork for collaborative projects on War, Women and the Human Spirit, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (Canada), General Consul of France (Istanbul, Turkey), Graduate Institute, Geneva and the University of Oxford, Centre for International Studies. Tanisha currently holds the position of Chairperson of the VANSA Board.

Partners and Funders

Partners & Funders_website