The death of Artscape Theatre Centre employee of 21 years, Mzwakhe James Mdidimba, has struck a sad chord at the cultural institution. A memorial in his honour will be held on Wednesday, 14 November, Chandelier Foyer at 13:00. Colloquially known as “Bra Sticks” Mdidimba, he will always be remembered as a brother, mentor, artist, a straightforward/brutally honest leader, a visionary, a perfectionist of note, and a tough-loving father to the Arts community.
He commenced his career at the Cultural Institution then known as the Nico Malan Theatre, as the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) Drama Company manager in the earlier 90’s. He then went on to head the then Indigenous Department as the centre transformed to Artscape; culmuninating as Senior Project Manager at the time of his death.
He had initiated many projects, nurtured and groomed many artists, assisted many organisations in terms of their development, served on various boards and committees, and has impacted the artistic community both locally and abroad.
Equally an actor in his own right, he performed in productions such as the River, as well as The Return, written by Fatima Dike and Directed by Roy Sergeant as part of the Artscape Spring Drama festival in 2008, which went to the Black Theatre Festival In Winton Salem North Carolina to critical acclaim and also played to full houses at the Main festival in Makhanda, known as the Grahamstown Festival.
He has a very specific love for soccer and was an avid Orlando Pirates supporter. He was a man of many talents and was also infuential in the choral community. He stood up against the exploitation of black artists in the Arts industry.
A humble person, he was connected with people on all levels, always with an ear on the ground and his finger on the pulse. He was an extremely funny person and loved to laugh. He would share the funniest videos and jokes with those around him and he would shake in his seat, wiping away the tears off his eyes caused by his laughter.
He will be fondly remembered.