Kgomotso le Roux

  • Bmus degree in Ethnomusicology – Wits University
  • Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management – University of Cape Town

Kgomotso is the CEO at Khwela Factory, director at the FutureLift Foundation, singer, mbira player, songwriter, and author. She has over 18 years’ experience within the film, music, visual arts, and craft environment. In so doing, she executed various leadership roles supported by her love for learning and determination to succeed in the long term.

Kgomotso has enjoyed managing projects for the Transnet Foundation, the Visual Arts Network of South Africa, State Theatre, the Department of Arts and Culture, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Music Festival, Proman(based in Luxembourg), Wastebusters(based in the UK), PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ochre Media.

After university, she worked as an archive assistant then as a general administrator at the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO). Kgomotso resigned at SAMRO and became the managing director of IKS Consulting & Promotions where she worked as a booking agent, music producer and managed international research projects for seven years.

In 2017, she launched her debut album, Unoyiwawa that is part of a merchandise program aimed at benefitting 7000 South African crafters.

Leona Urshla Mokoena

Leona Mokoena hales from the corporate world where she was involved as a course co-ordinator, personnel consultant and a function co-ordinator. Her role at Khwela is to assist with sales into the corporate market. Lee has obtained various diplomas and certificates over the years and wishes to continue her studies in Fine Art. She always had an interest in art visiting museums and exhibitions prior to her involvement at Gallery MOMO. Lee is a art consultant, director at Gallery MOMO and business woman. She has been involved in the art industry for 17years.  Lee has co-curated exhibitions, travelled locally and abroad to exhibitions, Art fairs and Biennales representing Gallery MOMO and their artists.

Her exposure and interest in art has grown over the years especially in the contemporary art world and continues to develop.  She is passionate about the arts in general and is currently consulting and expanding her craft in the public art arena.

Her previous experience includes:

  • Managing the gallery and staff
  • Interviewing and hiring staff
  • Arranging functions at gallery: luncheons, dinners, cocktail parties
  • Arranges and does walkaboutswith clients, schoolsetc
  • Client liaison
  • Co-curating exhibitions locally and internationally
  • Building up art collections for private individuals, corporates and government

Companies where art collections have been placed: JSE, Bowman Gilflan, ANB Ambro bank, Whip hold, MTN and other corporate and private collections.

Tlale Makhene

Tlale’s contribution to Khwela Factory continues to be that of strong networks.

Born in Soweto, South Africa, Tlale Makhene is one of South Africa’s sought-after drum beater who moved to Swaziland at a young age and began drumming at the age of four. Highly regarded by musicians and musical fans, he is also a teacher, session musician and performer. His ‘The Ascension of The Enlightened’ album is a true spiritual offering from a truly enlightened man. His passion for music began when he was young, he was influenced by his sangoma grandmother who often danced and ‘roll the bones’ to drumbeats.

He began playing drums in church as well as leading the drum majorettes in his school. After leaving school, he returned to his birthplace Soweto in 1992 and began studying drumming full time at the FUNDA Center. He was expelled after a year for having too many ‘outside activities’ Six months later, they approached him to come back to the center.

Being part of a number of workshops saw him come across a group of three Danish drummers known as Drums Across. They had been recruiting drummers in the country and it was a matter of time before they discovered Tlale and his talent. Starting in West Africa, the group traveled around looking for talent to work with. He was invited to return with them to Denmark for three months and work on musical projects. He joined them and went to record in Denmark. This afforded him an opportunity to collaborate with John Sund, Yasser Pino, Rune Thorsteinsson (pianist), Carsten D among many others. While in that country, he performed with the Copenhagen Rhythmic Conservatory Big Band and taught rhythmic workshops in Copenhagen as part of a cultural exchange program. He recorded six tracks for his album in Denmark before completing the project in South Africa. He came back home and recorded some of the tracks at SABC studios in Johannesburg. The album was produced by Africa Mkhize.

In 2005, he won the MTN SAMA Award in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album, contending with established artists such as Hugh Masekela, Paul Hanmer, Water + Lights and Themba Mkhize – a testament to a man that puts his faith in the hands of his provider.