When Joy of Jazz was co-founded by impresario Peter Tladi and legendary musician Hugh Masekela 20 years ago at the State Theatre in Pretoria, Mantwa Chinoamadi was still at school. Her closest connection to the event was going to her brother-in-law T-Musicman Tladi’s office in Johannesburg to ask for a lift home. Today, she produces the country’s biggest jazz festival, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. It is not an easy task. "I was given this responsibility about four years ago, when Peter decided to take a break from being at the coal face of the festival," she says. "He appointed me producer, while he wears the hat of executive producer — a ceremonial position, as he has surrendered over the years the responsibility of producing the show to me. "Before I got this position, I had worked for music recording companies, doing everything from marketing to project management. When I eventually joined T-Musicman, I had to start from the lowest ranks, doing almost everything that i...

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