People and Partners

Research Team

The research team is comprised of students, academics and other scholars who are engaged in recording the histories of Soweto.

Amanda Xulu

Amanda Xulu is currently pursuing her MA in History (by dissertation) as part of the History Workshop’s Soweto History and Archive Project 2023 cohort. Prior to this, Amanda obtained her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in History and Politics & International Studies at Rhodes University in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Professionally, Amanda has gained seven years’ experience through exhibition and museum development in the heritage preservation sector and has served as a manuscript editor, writer, researcher, project coordinator and project manager. Amanda is passionate about uncovering the hidden histories of women’s roles as activists in various African liberation struggles.

Antony Kaminju

Antony Kaminju is a Documentary photographer, Multimedia Producer and educator. His work gives evidence that he is a keen observer of every day life and intrigued by moments of performance, identity, archival research, urban spaces and pop culture. Over the years he has been facilitator of documentary photography studies at the Market Photo Workshop. He has also served as Phojournalism lecturer at University of Witwatersrand – Journalism department as well as a visiting lecturer at University of Johannesburg Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture.

His articles and images have been published and reviewed by local and International media and exhibited widely, twice at the Bamako Biennale, Mali. His work is also part of art collection by the Agence française de développement (AFD) in France and the Wedge Gallery in Toronto, Canada. He is interested on researching further on Kenyan Colonial archives in the context of photographic images and films.

Bahima Tebogo Mandelisa

Bahima Mandelisa is currently pursuing her MA in history (by Coursework and Research report), under the History Workshop’s Soweto History and biography Project 2023 cohort. Her research interest includes women history, particularly socioeconomic inequality, women’s rights in South Africa and racial inequality. Subsequently to this, Bahima obtained her undergraduate degree in which she majored in History and Psychology at North-West University (Vaal Triangle Campus) in 2022. The following year 2023, Bahima obtained her honours degree in history from North-West University. Professionally, Bahima has gained three years’ experience in teaching first years and second years and hopes to join the academic space. Bahima has served as tutor, student academic assistant and researcher.

Daniel Lee

Dan is a Master’s candidate interested in nightlife histories and their intersection with queer social histories. They are passionate about exploring queer histories from the perspective of recreation, hedonism and social life, in an attempt to populate the archive with a more varied and multifaceted understanding of LGBT histories. Their work explores music styles, fashion, club life and social spaces as they relate to queer people’s continued fight for safe spaces in the night.

Kana Kondo

Kana Kondo is a PhD candidate in Social Sciences at Hitotsubashi University in Japan. Her research focuses on the commemoration of the 1976 Soweto uprisings, particularly the transmission of memory to the next generation through local museums and schools in present-day Soweto, and even the storytelling of local history by the next generation itself. She had been a visiting scholar at the History Workshop and conducted fieldwork in Soweto from June 2021 to May 2023. She is now writing her dissertation in Japan. Kana has published as part of the SHAP! Project with an article entitled: “A Place of Remembrance in South Africa’s Post-Memory Boom: Depicting the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum from Everyday Life in Soweto”.

Kasonde Mukonde

Kasonde Thomas Mukonde is a Doctoral Candidate in History with the History Workshop and Department of History at Wits University. He has previously worked as a teacher and a librarian, and published work on the history of reading in Soweto high schools in an international peer–reviewed journal. Kasonde has conducted research on the support that Zambian broadcasters gave to the ANC’s Radio Freedom in Lusaka. His doctoral research focuses on township–based resistance theatre in South African townships from the 1970s to the year 2000. Kasonde obtained his undergraduate degree in history from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Laurence Stewart

Laurence Stewart is a PhD candidate in the History Workshop. Having completed his masters on the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union in the North West in 2021, he is now in the early stages of pursuing a PhD on the environmental history of Soweto. Other interests include football, art and music.

Lungile Butu

Lungile Butu, formerly writing as Lungile Madywabe, has over 20 years of experience as a journalist in South Africa. His current project focusses on early entrepreneurship in Pimville.

Nhlanhla Manana

Nhlanhla Manana is a talented and passionate jazz bassist hailing from the vibrant township of Soweto. At the age of 28, he has already made significant strides in his musical career and his slowly become one of the most promising jazz musicians in South Africa.

Nhlanhla’s journey in music began during his undergraduate studies in jazz performance at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). It was there that he honed his skills as a bassist and developed a deep appreciation for the art of jazz. Following his undergraduate studies, Nhlanhla continued his education at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), where he pursued an honors degree in community music.

Driven by his desire to explore the rich cultural heritage of South Africa, Nhlanhla is currently undertaking a master’s degree in heritage studies at Wits. Through his studies, he aims to delve deeper into the history and significance of music within the nation’s cultural fabric.

Beyond his academic pursuits, Nhlanhla is also actively involved in community work. He serves as the director of an organisation called A Generation, which focuses on mentorship and utilises arts and culture activities such as music, dance, and visual arts to teach life skills to young people. Through this initiative, Nhlanhla is dedicated to empowering the youth and nurturing their artistic talents.

With his exceptional musical abilities, academic pursuits, and commitment to community development, Nhlanhla Manana is an inspiring individual who continues to make a positive impact in the world of jazz and beyond.

Shadrack Bokaba

Acknowledged as one of South Africa’s leading arts administrators (he was named Arts and Culture Administrator of the Year at the Arts and Culture Trust Awards, 2004), Shadrack Bokaba’s experience spans across the music, theatrical and the film industries.

He holds a PhD in the field of Cultural Policy and Management from the University of the Witwatersrand, a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Postgraduate diploma in management, both from Henley Business School, and holds both the Licentiate and Associate Diplomas in Violin in Recital, from Trinity College, London.

Bokaba has held several positions including serving as Managing Director of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Acting Chief Executive Officer at the National Film and Video Foundation, Chief Executive Officer of the South Africa Music Education Trust, Musical Director of Disney’s The Lion King International Tour in Manila, and Producer of the musical Third World Express, amongst others.

Sihle Luma

Sihle Luma is a Master’s Candidate in History with the History Workshop. His interests revolve around sports histories. His master’s research focuses on the history of Black tennis in the Southern Transvaal, between 1920-1990. His research title is: “What A Polite Game Tennis Is”: The History of Tennis in Soweto, 1920 – 1990. Outside this research, Sihle is currently writing a paper titled A gym covered by full sweaty dreams”: Youth, tsotsis and the Dube Boxing Club, the 1950s – 1970s, which underlines and explores the role that the Dube Boxing Club played in the community of Dube between the 1950s and late 1970s, specifically focusing on the youth and tsotsism.