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Latest News: Fellow Spotlight

Meet Butshilo Nleya (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; 2014 ISPA Fellow)

Monday, July 7, 2014   (0 Comments)

This January ISPA brought 13 Fellows from 13 countries to the New York Congress. We know it’s impossible to meet all these emerging leaders onsite so we’re highlighting Fellows in 2014 in features via Network and the website.


Butshilo NleyaMeet Butshilo Nleya an independent producer from Zimbabwe who has produced festivals, theatre, film, and more throughout Africa and Europe. He learned of ISPA through his mentor and member Elizabeth Bradley when he attended a workshop she presented in South Africa (coincidentally brought to the region by past Fellow Neil Coppen).

When asked about his impressions of the January Congress, he says he “was overwhelmed by the sense of Ubuntu, unity, purpose and love amongst the members.” He left New York “convinced that I’m not lost in the world as a self-starter and with conviction that my participation in the network is one of the main ways I can improve the lives of artists in Zimbabwe.”

Following his participation in ISPA, Butshilo has relocated to London and is focusing his work on two areas. The first is creating performance and presentation platforms for artists in Zimbabwe, including a culture showcase and an online platform where artists can earn wages. The second is an action program where arts can be used to highlight important issues affecting the lives of Zimbabweans, such as human rights, health education, and LGBT issues. Butshilo cites identifying and nurturing new talent in Africa through performance opportunities as one of his favorite aspects of his work. When asked what he plans to contribute to the field he says:

“I would like to be part of creating an contemporary African artistic movement that will entertain, challenge, and inform the world on present African culture and arts discourse.”

Read more about Butshilo, or contact him here. Learn how YOU can help ISPA support emerging leaders in the field.