A rising star ready to make it internationally

by Stella Sigcau

16 October 2019

Azemahle Lwanda Matebese a 13 year old, grade 8 scholar from Durban Girls High School has had a passion for dancing since a young age.

Daughter of businessman from KwaBomvana in the Eastern Cape Mr Ntsikelelo Matebese and his wife Princess Nombongo Matebese (nee Ndamase) who traces her roots to the Faku dynasty and ooBhayi has been dancing since grade 1, doing ballet and modern dancing. Her curiosity and love for the arts, according to her mother Nombongo Matebese saw her participate in other cultural activities at her school and in grade 3 was awarded with a Pick n Pay trophy for being an all- rounder in cultural activities within her Primary School, Glenmore in Durban.

She was in the KZN Gymnastic Team in 2014. In 2018 while in grade 7 she won the Tehilla and Ruth Dube Jubille trophy for a piece written on “Building a rainbow nation”

In April 2018 Azemahle Matebese auditioned in Durban for a Rising Talent Showcase which gives a platform to aspiring actors, singers and dancers .  Azemahle, according to her mother was shortlisted to showcase her talent at the annual International ARTS Talent Showcase organized by Elsubie Verlinden an agent for The New York Film Academy Film and Musical Theatre Program in Johannesburg from the 24-26th September 2019.

The Judging panel, she explains, was made up of the following heavy weights in the industry from the USA namely, Joey Hunter - former president of the International Model Management Association; Nate Butler an American songwriter, music producer, vocal producer, and recording artist based in Atlanta, Georgia, Rhavynn Drummer who is an Atlanta-based casting director who began her career in casting at Tyler Perry Studios, Joey Zangardi-Dixon who is the New York Film Academy's Director of Musical Theatre Recruitment and Blaze Johnson starred in popular films like When the Game Stands Tall and Underdogs.

Azemahle excelled as a dancer in this talent showcase and was nominated to represent her country in New York in July 2020. Her mother who was part of this historic moment stated, “as family we are very proud of our daughter and will give her all the support to make sure that her dreams come true. She will be accompanying her daughter to New York.

Azemahle’s hard work and perseverance paid off. She’ll be off to the big apple, flying SA flag high to pursue her passion, dancing. The future is bright for the young cultural ambassador and she is ready to make waves in the United States.