DES & DAWN – EVERY DAY IS AN OPENING NIGHT– OUR JOURNEY TOGETHER.
I am a public speaker, entertainer, singer, songwriter and MC, and the co-author of our life story recently published.
Our book is both a deeply personal memoir and a glimpse into our political activism as Des and Dawn. It documents the joy, the drama and the challenges of our lifetime in South African theatre – as musicians, entertainers, stage designers, entrepreneurs, promoters and impresarios.
As a keynote speaker I draw on our our 55-year career together, from folk-singing in the 1960s in the Troubadour Coffee-bar in Johannesburg, to producing and performing in major plays and musicals all over Southern Africa.
Our life story unfolded during a turbulent era in South Africa’s history: local unrest, international opprobrium, sanctions and an intransigent Nationalist government combined to create a challenging environment for performing artistes.
Along the way, we worked with the region’s most famous musicians, and we endured threatening Special Branch attention. Many of our albums and shows were banned. We fought court-cases, won some, and persevered as musical anti-apartheid activists, and above all as professional entertainers. Ours is undoubtedly also an enduring love-story.
Our narrative is also a roll-call of some of the best-loved personalities who were part of our lives over many decades, from Barney Simon, Ben “Satch” Masinga, Cocky “Two Bull” Tlhotlhalemaje, Taubie Kushlick, Jeremy Taylor, Johnny Clegg and John Kani, to Pieter-Dirk Uys, Henry Cele, Mara Louw’ Mark Banks, Abigail Kubeka, Judy Page, author Gordon Forbes, pianist Richard Clayderman and the incomparable UK comedian Spike Milligan.
I look forward to speaking with a light touch to audiences young and older, corporate and private, against the backdrop of our stories and songs,– sometimes poignant, often funny and always honest..
Dawn and were widely acknowledged as pioneers of corporate cabaret in South Africa. I devour client briefings and have MC’d hundreds of corporate and private events. I have written countless lyrics and poems for companies and individuals.
I am accomplished in spontaneous question and answer sessions, and I love motivating people to move forward and embrace change and cultural diversity.