Sanda Mankayi is in recovery! With this year’s Festival now being wrapped up, she took a moment to share what she’s learnt after stepping into the shoes of Fringe Manager while Zikhona Nweba has been away on maternity leave.

How long have you been at NAF and what is your official title?

I have been with the NAF team since 2016 January, and my job is Fringe Assistant for the National Arts Festival and Creative City. I’ve been acting Fringe Manager while Zee has been away.

What has it been like being Zee for the past six months?

It has been an amazing experience, quite an eye-opening one. I have learnt to be calm in most instances, to think on my feet, and what it’s like to have more than 300 children at the same time with different needs and having to keep all of them happy. Phew!

What three words describe the Fringe Office during the Festival and why?

  • Love – All the Fringe artists, I love them. They bring such excitement and emotion to my life.
  • Mess – Some moments seem like it is all just chaos and nothing seems to work, but because our team is so supportive it all is okay in the end.
  • Coffee and Chocolate – Though the hours are long and the days seem to stand still, coffee and chocolate keeps us on our toes and the shows go on.

Best bits about your job?

Having people who come from very far away with almost nothing in their pockets but pitch in time for their rehearsals and performances. Seeing happy artists. Listening to experiences that people have had coming to the Festival and being able to tell them that it will be okay and we’ll do our best to make their show AMAZ!ING.

Worst bits?

Not having time to seeing any of the Fringe shows.

Your highlights from the 2018 Festival?

Finally meeting the people I have been communicating with over the phone and via email. Being interviewed on radio and sounding fresh, as the presenter put it (I was so tired though).

What you’re going to do when you (finally) get a weekend off?

Sleep, go away – and sleep some more.