We’d like to tell you more about Buzz.

Buzz is a NEW kind of Performing Arts activity for South African children.

Launched by Managing Director, Hanneke Mackie, in 2012, Buzz sessions are custom designed to develop children’s confidence, boost their social skills and offer them a platform to express their individuality.

Our services include Drama, Dance and Singing workshops in schools and independently across Gauteng. We also offer themed, interactive birthday parties for kidz. In addition, we do Holiday Courses, unique children’s entertainment for corporates, teacher training courses and have original children’s music and podcasts.

Find out more about the team, below:

Hanneke Mackie

Founder, Owner and Managing Director of Buzz

Hanneke Mackie, a proudly South African woman, is the Founder and Managing Director of Buzz. She is a self-proclaimed: ‘child-whisperer’ and has managed to combine her love for children and the performing arts and gave birth to her life’s dream and passion: Buzz!

Buzz is a revolutionary Performing Arts activity for children, currently running successful in- and after-school workshops across South Africa (Gauteng and the Western Cape) for 2500 children. Buzz workshops incorporate Drama, Dance and Singing as a triple threat, 3-in-1 program. Buzzing with children between 3 and 13 years old, Buzz is specifically aimed at building children’s confidence and boosting their social skills through high energy, fun and entirely interactive workshops.

All music for Buzz workshops are created and owned by Buzz. These albums are created around unique, educational, child friendly themes. Each theme has a podcast series created especially for it.

Buzz currently employs 50 people, thereby contributing to the economy and creating permanent and self-employed contractor opportunities for some of South Africa’s best creative talents.

Hanneke trained as an actor at The University of Cape Town and achieved her degree in Theatre and Performance in 2005. Apart from being a trained actor, with most of her professional experience in children’s and community based theatre, Hanneke has first-hand experience of the South African education system as she worked as the Foundation Phase Drama Teacher at Crawford Preparatory, Sandton.

She also worked for Perform, a renowned Children’s Drama School in England for many years. Hanneke has worked inside hundreds of Primary Schools in the United Kingdom and South Africa, from disadvantaged to privileged, she has worked across a wide selection of socio-economic communities. She has developed an approach to children that is entirely unique. She is passionate about the marriage of education and play. She believes in applying the arts to develop the child cognitively, socially and wholistically.

Apart from their after-school sessions, Buzz has regular contracts in schools, delivering educational workshops as well as skills sharing workshops to help teachers ‘bring learning alive.’ Buzz also offers interactive children’s parties, holiday courses and children’s corporate events. Buzz is committed social outreach work and has delivered adult and children’s Drama Workshops in a variety of deprived communities. In 2018, Hanneke aims to branch out more robustly into the charitable space, by founding a version of Buzz as a Non Profit Organisation

Hanneke oversees all workshops offered by Buzz and guarantees the highest teaching standards in all Buzz sessions.

LinkedIn profile

Dee Theart

Buzz Area Manager

Dee’s love and passion for working with kidz started way back! While she was studying BDrama at the University of Stellenbosch (majoring in Acting and Media for TV and Radio), she ran holiday dancing workshops for kidz and was often casted in the Drama Department’s children’s theatre productions. Apart from her Drama degree, Dee also obtained a Postgraduate qualification in Translation and Editing. Dee started working at Buzz in 2015 to further live out her passion for developing the youth and has since touched the lives of many kidz in schools, venues and at birthday parties. She believes that the arts have a major role to play in the development and enrichment of children and she is excited to be part of this powerful process. Other than working at Buzz, Dee juggles other interests such as being a Master of Ceremonies, presenter, actress, journalist and voice over artist.

Juanita Mardon

Buzz Area Manager

Juanita started her adventure in child development early during her studies when she took children’s theatre as a subject while obtaining her BA and HON degrees in Performing Arts from the University of Pretoria. From there she has worked her child whisperer muscle through numerous years in child care (locally and abroad), drama classes, as well as through performing and writing children’s theatre productions. Buzz has given her the perfect platform where her skills can be focused and grown to help our precious future, the youth, be the best that they can be.

Klair White

Social Media & Operations Manager

Klair is passionate about helping others grow. She believes in the power of art and creativity to have a profound positive effect on children and adults. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 2014 at the University of the Witwatersrand, and then completed her Honors degree in Psychology at the University of South Africa in 2016. Klair uses her creative skills to run the Social Media for Buzz and assists in managing the administrative department at Buzz Towers, to help keep the ship sailing smoothly. Using systematic approaches, they collaborate together to keep all our Buzzers happy and to make sure to keep the communication line open for all types of enquiries.

Niki Landella-Gaitanelis

Buzz Manager and Party Leader

Niki has worked in childcare and theatre for over a decade. After leaving the National School of the Arts with an FET in the Performing Arts, she volunteered at the Actors Centre in Johannesburg and soon after discovered her love of child care. She got her first full-time professional acting role as the Sleeping Beauty in the On Cue Theatre production, where she would spend the next ten years doing between 300-600 children’s theatre shows a year. Niki spent a year in the USA as an au pair, worked as a reading teacher and appeared in a few short films and adverts. Another noteworthy job Niki added to her CV, was working for two years as an on-set child minder for Education-on-Location in the South African film industry. She was a founding member of the Actors Club in Johannesburg. She recently returned from Club Med in Mauritius, working primarily in the Petite Club (with toddlers), but also helping out in the Baby Club and Mini Club (4-7 year-olds). She has returned to Buzz, because once bitten by the Buzz Bug, there is no known cure.

Mirinda Blignaut

Senior Buzz Manager

Mirinda knew from a young age that she was born to perform! She followed this dream and obtained her Licentiate diploma in Musical Theatre through London Trinity College. Her passion for singing, acting and dancing has steered her towards incredible local and international opportunities which now includes Buzz. She believes that a fun-loving environment is the best platform for learning and she absolutely adores the “uninhibited nature” of a child at play.

Malie Thekiso

Buzz Manager and Party Leader

Malie started out as a stage actress from an early age. While managing to attend acting classes through the “Just You Acting” Academy, she finished her BComm in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at Wits, and only five months later found herself in New York City, studying Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy. Having worked in both NYC and SA (in film and theatre) her focus now is geared towards television/film and the exciting challenges this stream holds. She loves working with children.

Tania Genade

Buzz Manager and Party Leader

Tania has graduated from the Waterfront Theatre College in Cape Town, where she majored in singing and obtained her LTCL in both Drama and Musical theatre. She also obtained her teaching associates diploma in Drama and Musical theatre. Tania has performed in various productions at college and professionaly. She is very passionate about children!

Roline Odendaal

Buzz Manager

From the age of nine Roline knew she wanted to study and live out her passion for drama. Ever since she can remember, she has been involved in stage productions, Eisteddfod’s, musical theatre, children’s theatre and singing competitions. Roline obtained her BDrama degree at the University of Stellenbosch and her passion for drama was always bubbling under, so becoming part of the Buzz team was a natural decision. Living in Cape Town with the beautiful backdrop where the ocean meets mountains, it sprouts creativity, imagination and ambition everywhere Roline looks. She wants others, particularly children, to see this and be proud of themselves as they too have the opportunity to live out their passion for drama.

Thenjiwe Mazibuko

Buzz Manager and Party Leader

Thenjiwe is passionate about working with children and she enjoys using drama techniques when interacting with and learning from them. Apart from working for Buzz, she is an actor who dances, sings and writes. She completed her BA in Dramatic Arts (Hons.) at Wits University, majoring in Applied Drama, Theatre as well as Television Studies. She has worked as a stage manager, director, editor, production assistant, actor and voice over artist, to name but a few of her diverse talents. She loves hearing, telling and recording stories. She is interested in doing research on disability and inclusivity in the arts and looks forward to pursuing her Masters Degree in the nearby future.

Zinhle Xulu

Buzz Manager and Party Leader

Zinhle is a passionate young woman who is full of energy and drive. After matriculating at the National School of The Arts where she majored in and obtained a distinction in Speech and Drama, she went on to obtain her BA Audiovisual Production Management Degree from the University of Johannesburg and has been working in the TV industry ever since. This multi-talented performer also works as a radio presenter, news reader, voice over artist and MC. She is a mother of two beautiful girls and also enjoys singing. Zinhle believes in spreading kindness everywhere she goes, because she believes the world could do with some more love!

Monica-lee Nortier

Buzz Manager and Party Leader

Monica-lee’s love for the theatre started at a young age. This love followed and inspired her to obtain her B-Tec degree from the Tshwane University of Technology, specializing in physical theatre and vocal training. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree in the field of developing the imagination of the actor. She strongly believes in the power of the imagination and that the greatest teachers of the “imagisphere” are children. Monica-lee enjoys learning from children and in turn aims to inspire them with her burning love for the theatre.

Palesa Makhudu

Buzz Workshop and Party Leader

Palesa Makhudu is a vibrant young lady who is passionate about children and drama. She studied drama at the National School of the Arts and worked with some amazingly talented teachers such as Isidingo’s Chan Marti. Palesa also had the privilege of taking part in a children’s educational drama called “Ziku’s Earth Adventure” for The Learn Channel. Through her journey she’s worked with great mentors such as Sylvaine Strike and Dorothy Ann Gould, who’ve helped her put smiles on many children’s faces at The UJ Drama Company. Introducing drama to children at a young age not only helps them to express themselves but it also teaches them how to build character and gain self confidence!

Mark Mduli

Buzz Manager and Party Leader

Mark is an actor, stand-up comedian and radio host. He has been a performer since he can remember. From being a TV presenter from fifteen years on, he went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and Philosophy at Rhodes University, to broaden his perspective. He believes humans are at their best when they’re at play and no one can teach this better than children. Children are the life of the Earth.

Donae Brazer

Buzz Party Leader

Donae started performing from a young age, always knowing she’d find her roots in the world of the arts. Engulfed in drama, dance and singing, she studied Musical Theatre through Tshwane University of Technology (B-tech) and Oakfields College (Diploma) and has also done all of her Classical singing exams through Trinity College, UK up to Grade 8. Donae has worked in the children’s theatre realm for four years, venturing to new challenges thereafter. Having had a parent in education, she understands the value of learning in a fun and uplifting manner. This in turn helps kids develop into upstanding and self-sufficient adults that can function in any work environment, readying them for the challenges that life may throw their way.

Mauna Dolamo

Party Leader

Mauna dreamt of becoming an actor ever since watching Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in cinemas years ago. Growing up, he honed his acting skills by playing in numerous school theatre productions. Later he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree for Live Performance at AFDA. After graduating, he decided to expand his forte in acting to write screenplays and learn how to direct films, as well as becoming a voice over artist. He has worked in different spectrums of the industry behind and in front of camera ever since. Mauna’s greatest dream is to bring Hollywood to South Africa, one way or another.

Darren Meltz

Party Leader

Darren’s love for performance started at an early age. Having completed his LTCL in Performance Arts from Trinity College London, Darren further honed his craft at the Indigo View Advanced Actors Academy. Under the guidance of industry professionals such as Steven Feinstein and Daniel Buckland, Darren has become a truly versatile performer and educator. One of his career highlights thus far is being part of the ensemble of The Sound of Music’s international touring production. Darren is passionate about developing young creatives through his work as a lecturer at Vega School and as drama and improvisation coach at CMTMC (Children’s Musical Theatre Masterclass). He is super excited to be part of the Buzz family in order to develop young minds even more.

Lesego Molotsi

Buzz Party Leader

Lesego studied drama & filmstudies at the University of Pretoria where he was part of the Theatre in Education program. Lesego has also been involved in Educational Theatre programs. In 2013 Lesego completed his honours where he specialised in Acting, Physical Theatre and Applied Theatre.

Yolanda Mogatus

Buzz Workshop and Party Leader

Yolanda is a trained actress, dancer, writer and filmmaker with a great passion for youth focused initiatives. As a writer and filmmaker, she has made well-received TV programmes for kids and her short film has played at international children’s film festivals. As a performing artist, Yolanda has over 5 years of being a camp counselor under her belt as well as teaching and leading kids in shows and plays at the church she attends and beyond; revisiting her love for children’s theatre is what led her to Buzz. She also has a keen interest in early childhood development and regularly volunteers with Hope Worldwide and the Early Childhood Development work they do with kids in Diepsloot and Zandspruit.

Lizahn Bester

Buzz Workshop and Party Leader

Lizahn studied drama at the Tshwane University of Technology, where she specialized in Educational Theatre and Dance. She started to pursue her career by working in collaboration with Redhead Productions, doing Children’s Theatre. She loves interacting with kids in a theatrical fun way and always believed to teach drama, dance and singing with passion so that it will carry over into the lives of her students.

Elaine Van Staden

Buzz Party Leader

Elaine completed her B-tech degree in drama at the Tshwane University of Technology. She specialized in children’s theatre and educational theatre and is here were she discovered her love for children and being around them. Elaine is also a voice and drama coach and has many successful stories of children that won in arts festivals. She traveled throughout South Africa with Nestle doing a promoting Children’s theatre. Elaine’s passion lies within children boosting their confidence and social skills.

Manda Ndimande

Buzz Manager and Party Leader

Manda is a professional performer, having worked internationally and nationally as both a singer and an actor. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Drama and Media Studies at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Throughout her studies, she participated in children’s theatre and drama in education. She has also been involved with community work with Sizzan Community Development, an organization founded by her mother, helping child-headed families and providing home base care to families who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Manda is not only passionate about children, but she is also passionate about the arts and its importance in the development of children from a tender age.

Gamelihle Bovana

Buzz Party Leader

Gamelihle is a talented, multi-faceted performer, hailing from East London. He started performing from a young age and continued gracing the stage in his years at the University Of The Witwatersrand, graduating with a BA Honours degree in Dramatic Arts. Since then he has acted in numerous theatre productions and won a Naledi Theatre Award for “Best Performance In A Children’s Theatre Production”. Adding to his impeccable resume, Gamelihle ventured into radio, joining VOW FM (Voice Of Wits), where he went on to become the host of the station’s lunchtime and weekend mid-morning shows. His on-air exploits has earned him two MTN Radio Award nominations.

Koketso Mojela

Party Leader

Koketso started her professional acting training under the South African State Theatre’s development program. She has since performed in numerous theatre productions, and has been nominated and won a few Naledi Theatre Awards for her work. She has a desire to use drama as a healing and teaching tool, and therefore decided to study an advanced diploma in Applied Theatre at Wits University. It is during these studies where she discovered her love for working with children, specifically using drama. She has just completed an Honours Degree in Drama Therapy, also at Wits, and intends on completing her Masters Degree in the same field.

Zoe Beavon

Buzz Workshop and Party Leader

Zoe began singing and acting at a young age and graduated with a BA Dramatic Arts (Hons) from the University of Witwatersrand majoring in Performance, Musical Theatre and Television Production. She loves singing, dancing and performing especially in an environment that enriches the lives of children and allows them to be creative in a fun and enthusiastic space.

Sibusiso Mkhize

Buzz Manager and Party Leader

Sibusiso is a theatre practitioner and a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA (Hons) in Dramatic Arts and has been an accomplished performer since an early age. Sibusiso has appeared in television productions like Cooking Magic, Soul Buddies and was a cast member of the Oscar-winning film Tsotsi. He has worked with Meagan Willson in Ruined and Prince Lamla in Thari and has several other theatre productions under his belt.

Lizelle Pretorius

Buzz Leader

Lizelle is a passionate young teacher and performer. She loves the arts and believes that it can have an extremely positive effect on young children. She feels that performing arts can be an outlet for children and help them to develop and become comfortable in their own skin. Lizelle has been acting and dancing from a young age and has always wanted to combine her love for drama and dance with her love for children. After school, Lizelle joined a performing arts ministry called 13thFLOOR, where she travelled the country and performed stage productions in schools and churches. These shows included dancing, singing and acting. She is a qualified Royal Academy of Dance Ballet teacher and has been teaching ballet for 5 years. She’s also a qualified AIDT Modern Dance teacher.

Kaegen Grobbelaar

Buzz Manager and Party Leader

Kaegen Grobbelaar has studied Bird Behaviour through Ethology Academy and found herself working at the Montecasino Bird Gardens as a Show Presenter/Bird Trainer. During her two years there, she did a voice and acting course through Voice2Act. She has danced with one of South Africa’s best dance crews, CREED. As well as presenting, dancing and acting for big names such as Bic, ICC Cricket, 94.7 Cycle Challenge, FNB and more.

Lenah Sibisi

Buzz Manager

Lenah studied Drama at Oakfields College. After graduating she went on to start her own production company, called Spritzer Productions, aimed at equipping students and post graduates with industry experience. She then launched a programme called “Tembisa Kiddies Book Club”, a creative literacy programme for children in the township. Lenah has made it her mission to encourage the culture of reading for meaning in her community. She is also a certified mentor for the “SAB Be The Mentor” programme, she volunteers at her local police station as a part of the Youth Desk and goes to schools to motivate and inspire students.