Tefo Omphile Paya is a BQA accredited, formally trained, Performance Specialist. He holds an MA (Master of Arts degree) in Dramatic Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, where he majored in Performance Studies and Theatre as Activism, Education and Therapy. He received a distinction for his thesis, which focused on masculine identity, rituals and rites of passage in performance.
Tefo has over a decade of experience as an actor, teacher, facilitator and performance consultant. He has worked with internationally renowned directors such as Warren Nebe, Mandla Mabothwe, James Ncgobo, Warona Seane and Moabi Mogorosi. He is one of the founding members of the Company@Maitisong. The Company@Maitisong is the production arm of Maitisong Theatre which has produced powerful plays such as Sephiri Se Dule (Setswana phrase meaning ”the secret is out”), Brothers’ Bones and Born Around Here. They also produced the popular radio drama Madi Majwana, which is sponsored by Barclays Bank of Botswana to educate Batswana on issues of financial literacy.
Tefo has been extensively involved in all of these projects, including being an integral part of the Maitisong Festival over the past four years. Tefo has managed venues, helped create the programme, overseen the theatre section, and organized activations to market the Festival. Here, he gained valuable experience in curating and managing festivals.
Throughout his career, Tefo has won many awards, both academically and professionally. Most recently, he received the Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award at the Grahamstown Festival for the one-man play Morwa, which he wrote and performed. He is currently the Director of Maitisong, Botswana’s premier theatre located at Maru-a-Pula School.