Sello Maake kaNcube is challenging The Market Theatre for not hiring him as artistic director

Sello Maake kaNcube. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Sello Maake kaNcube. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Published Aug 8, 2023


Veteran actor and theatre practitioner Sello Maake kaNcube has expressed his dissatisfaction at not being considered for the position of artistic director at the Market Theatre.

It started when kwaito musician Eugene Mthethwa posed a question on Twitter, asking who would be the best choice for the position between Maake kaNcube and Greg Homann.

Mthethwa tweeted: “Shock me! Who wud b best choice candidate 2 be Market Theatre Artistic Director betwn @sellomkn & @greghomann & why?

“What constitutes qualifications in arts & culture 2 b a preferred candidate? Is it race? Is it academic? Does previous experience matter? #EFF @EFFSouthAfrica.”

In response to Mthethwa’s post, Maake kaNcube shared a statement on his Twitter and Instagram accounts alleging that he applied for the position but was rejected.

In his statement, Maake-kaNcube says he believed that the job might have already been predestined for someone else even before it was publicly advertised.

“From the streets, I come and to meet their highbrow expectations I submitted to their boardroom expectations! What more did these people want or need?

“... They could have come clean and stated that this job had a face, a name and surname before it was even advertised,” said Maake kaNcube.

The former “Generations” star emphasised that he did not have a specific salary expectation because he believes that the importance of teaching and nurturing the talents of black children goes beyond monetary value.

He expressed that this opportunity would have allowed him to give back and support young black talents, which he considers invaluable.

Furthermore, the veteran actor expressed his disappointment in the interview process.

“I was interviewed by people who are not even qualified to interview for the space they think they understand and occupy! They must come for me because I’m now ready to fight for what is right!”

See the full statement below:

According to his manager, Pearl Maake kaNcube, they referred the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) after The Market Theatre decided not to hire him for the position of artistic director.

As a result, the case will now be referred to the Labour Court for further resolution.

According to the statement issued by The Market Theatre Foundation’s communications department, the recruitment process was conducted fairly and in line with the necessary procedures to ensure that the best person for the role was chosen.

“Due process was followed and the best candidate was appointed. In 2022, the MTF conducted a recruitment process to fill the role of the artistic director,” read the statement.

“A rigorous selection process was conducted by a duly constituted panel and a determination was made to appoint the most suitable candidate.”

Homann replaced veteran actor and theatre practitioner James Ngcobo in January.

Ngcobo left the Market Theatre to join Joburg City Theatres (JCT) as the artistic director in June 2022.