Arts Ambassador

Yvonne Chaka Chaka

Known as the 'Princess of Africa', Yvonne Chaka Chaka, an internationally recognised and highly respected singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, humanitarian and teacher, has been at the forefront of South African popular music for more than twenty years.

During her career she has released hit after hit and has several award winning albums; she has her own music label and production companies. As a young performer Yvonne was the first Black child to appear on South African television in 1981. She has shared the stage with numerous megastars and has performed for HRM Queen Elizabeth II, US President Bill Clinton, South African President Thabo Mbeki and a host of other world leaders. The song "Umqombothi" was featured in the opening scene of the 2004 movie Hotel Rwanda.

Yvonne is a champion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the United Nations MDG Envoy for Africa, and the Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. She was chosen by Nelson Mandela as the first ambassador for his children's fund, and has also established her own charity, the Princess of Africa Foundation. Her Foundation is a partner of the ACTION global health advocacy partnership. In 2012, she was the first African woman to receive the World Economic Forum's Crystal Award.

She sits on several boards of charitable organisations and NGOs, and serves on the board of the Johannesburg Tourism Company.



Marianne Fassler

Often hailed as a doyenne of South Africa fashion, Marianne Fassler is synonymous with crafted couture that reflects the country's colours, textures and patterns.

She is a regular on the ramp at fashion weeks across the country and recently showed her 2015 Resort Collection at the Mercedes-Benz Cape Town Fashion Week. She has spent over three decades in the industry and has received numerous national and international awards for her designs, including in 2010 the AFI Award for Exceptional Contribution to Fashion in Africa. Her designs have been shown at fashion weeks around the world. In 2008 she was commissioned by the Standard Bank to produce a show to be staged during the Marlene Dumas Exhibition.

Her work is always superbly crafted, interesting and comfortable. She appeals to a wide spectrum of women who love individuality, identity, craftsmanship and diversity in their wardrobe. The most frustrating part of being a designer, she says, is never having enough time to do all the things she wants to do. According to Marianne, the fashion landscape has never been more vast, diverse and mind-numbingly confusing. It is always a challenge to stay relevant and profitable, but she believes what Coco Chanel said years ago: "In order to be irreplaceable, one has to be different."