The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Lekgetho Makola as the new chief executive officer. He assumed the role on 1 February 2021 and was most recently the head of the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg.
Makola joins Javett-UP with many years’ experience. He has contributed significantly to the art community, especially with regards to local and international visual story telling platforms and curatorial committees, including the New York Times portfolio reviews. He was the first African in over 60 years to chair the World Press Photo Awards General Jury in 2020 and served on the Art Bank of South Africa Acquisition Committee in 2018 and 2019. His artistic philosophy is embedded in social justice and advocacy as an International Ford Foundation Fellow – Social Justice.
He has gained extensive strategic experience in arts administration and artistic programming from an array of local and international institutions he worked for throughout his career, including Durban Art Museum, Robben Island Museum, and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Under his leadership, the Market Photo Workshop won the Principal Prince Claus Award in 2018. He was also appointed Interim CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation in August 2020.
In 2012 Makola co-founded Kali TV in Washington DC, an online media platform reporting news on diaspora communities in the USA. He was a founding member of Parallel Film Collective Washington DC in 2012 and Brand New Africa Foundation in 2016. In 2014 he founded a South African independent production company KGETHI IMAGES, which focuses on film, photography and art productions. Makola is a founding and active member of the virtual Continental network Centres for Learning for Photography in Africa.
Makola was born in GaSekhukhune, Limpopo in 1974. He studied fine arts at the Durban Institute of Technology and completed an MFA degree at Howard University in Washington, DC.
“We are pleased and proud to welcome Lekgetho to the Javett-UP Art Centre. He is a visionary leader who has done much to advance the arts community and to train and mentor young artists,” said Ed Southey, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Arts Centre Foundation.
“The Javett-UP Art Centre plays an important role in celebrating the art of Africa while also offering training in art and heritage skills. I am looking forward to guiding one of South Africa’s newest museums to a truly distinctive place in our heritage sector,” said Makola.
Makola will take over from interim CEO Dr Samuel Isaacs. Southey thanked Isaacs for steering the institution through the hard lockdown necessitated by COVID-19 and the institution’s successful re-opening on Heritage Day, 24 September 2020.