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NAFAPPOINTS CEO (article first published : 2007-11-8)

The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown has announced that Tony Lankester has been appointed as the company’s CEO from December 1, 2007.

Chairman of the Board, Ayanda Mjekula, stated that the Board of Directors had taken a strategic decision to create a new executive position and to appoint a CEO to drive the business and focus on sponsorships, whilst overseeing the operations (which remains the responsibility of the Festival Director). “Having gone through a robust strategic planning process we realized that The National Arts Festival, which has been running for 33 years, needed to broaden the executive team in order to take the Festival to another level.”

“Tony Lankester joins us from Old Mutual South Africa, where he has been heading up sponsorships and prior to that he was an on-air presenter and manager of the national radio station SAfm. Lankester brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, extending from art, media and business through to sponsorships. He is a regular attendee at the Festival and is a Rhodes University graduate. We are extremely fortunate to have a person of his calibre and passion in our team and we look forward to an exciting journey with him”, Mjekula said.

“This is a great opportunity to work on South Africa’s biggest arts brand”, Lankester said. “There is a mountain of potential waiting to be unlocked within the Festival. It is a strong, established feature of South African life but there is plenty of scope to grow it in new directions, refresh the brand and raise the bar around the Festival experience.”

During his first three months in office, Lankester will be spending time “getting to know the team; talking to anyone and everyone with an interest in the event; focusing on crafting the best possible experience for everyone involved in the Festival – from sponsors, to Grahamstown residents, to performers, writers, directors, artists and most importantly, the audiences.”




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