Journalist, documentary film director and author of publications on Ballet, Art and Literature
Amanda Elizabeth Botha was born on 17 July 1943 in Johannesburg. She grew up in
Cape Town, matriculated from the Hoërskool Jan van Riebeeck and studied at
Stellenbosch University. Award:
Amanda started her career as a journalist at Die Burger in 1967. Before her freelancing career she worked for Beeld in Johannesburg and later acted as Cape representative for the Johannesburg
based newspaper Die Transvaler.
She joined Capab Drama and worked with theatre directors such as Athol Fugard,
Dieter Reible, Peter Kleinschmidt, Mavis Taylor, Robert Mohr, Francois Swart,
Truida Louw and Pieter Fourie. In 1971 she joined the company of The Space
Theatre and worked closely with Fugard, Yvonne Bryceland and Pieter-Dirk Uys.
She also joined Chris Pretorius and others to form The Glass Theatre for
experimental theatre productions. Amanda joined Capab Opera in 1983 and worked
closely with Murray Dickie in the South African premiéres of Wagner and Strauss
She wrote numerous articles on the performing art, especially opera and ballet
for both local and international publications. In 1988 Human & Rousseau
published her biography on prima ballerina absulutta, Phyllis Spira,
complimented with a forward by Margot Fonteyn.
She acted for many years as contributing editor to international publications
such as Dance and Dancer and World of Ballet and Dance in London and contributed to the New York published book Opera Companies of the World and to the St James Dictionary of Composers.
Amanda has been involved with the visual arts since 1972. She has published
extensively on art and artists in South Africa. She has also acted as guest
curator for the US Sasol Art Gallery in Stellenbosch and presented
retrospective exhibition on the work of Sheila Cussons (2002), Marjorie Wallace
(2003) - both for Woordfees, Stellenbosch and the Flemish-South African artist
Herman van Nazareth (2004) and many since.
Since 1977 she was closely associated with the Afrikaanse Skrywersgilde and
acted as secretary for five years. She organised three annual conferences for
Amanda acted as researcher and scripwriter for many tv documentary programmes
on South African artists, screened on SABC TV., amongst them writers such as
Louis C Leipoldt, Sheila Cussons, N P van Wyk Louw, Anna M. Louw, Freda Linde
and Hennie Aucamp, painters such as Paul du Toit, Sheila Nowers and a award
winning programme The state of South African art today and performing artists such as Phyllis Spira, Eduard Greyling and Hermien
She has published many articles on writers and writing, mostly in Afrikaans.
She also presents a monthly programme on Afrikaans youth books for FM Radio.
Together with the poet Sheila Cussons Amanda has published two analogies of
Cussons's poems under the titles 'n Engel deur my kop (1997) and die asem van ekstase (2000). She was closely associated with Sir Laurens van der Post and apart
from making two television documentary programmes on his life and work, she has
together with Sir Laurens wrote a book on their collaboration, titled Conversations at the Cape. Amanda Botha curated Majorie Wallace's 2003 Retrospective Exhibition.
Award of the Friends of the Opera for her contribution to opera.Books:
Prima Balleria Phyllis Spira, Human & Rousseau, 1988
The Art of Herman van Nazareth, Belgian Published, 2004
Die Engel deur my kop (compilation of the religious poetry of Sheila Cussons),
'n asem van ekstase (compilation of non-religious poetry of Sheila Cussons),
Conversations at the Cape (together with Laurens van der Post, unpublished)
>Marjorie Wallace: Drif en vreugde (Biografie), David Philip, 2007
Chris Brink - Anatomie van 'n omvormer, Sun Press, 2007
Larger than Life - A Biography of Jan Bull Pickard (Paul Dobson with Amanda Botha), Picardi Publishers, 2008