Thandi Swaartbooi

Gugulethu-born artist Thandi Swartbooi is a decorated arts activist and she keeps on reaping the rewards of her sterling work in the field of cultural excellence.

She recently returned from Nigeria where she was invited by former Ogun state governor, Ibikunle Amosun to perform at the African Drum Festival.

There she rubbed shoulders with top drummers such as Eddy Mboyo from the DRC Congo, Othnell Mangoma Moyo from Zimbabwe and Adepo Yapo from Burkina Faso.

And this time last year she was honoured by the Artscape Theatre Centre for her role in the arts.

She is the founding head of Women Unite SA, a women’s marimba group which she formed in 1997 to prove that women can achieve what they want, and demystify the long -held notion that only men can play those instruments. As part of her ongoing drive to uplift women, she plans to create more marimba schools in Vukani land.