HomeMeet Your CASA Ambassador: Leroux Botha [South Africa]

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Leroux Botha

When did you first become involved in a cappella? In what capacity?

I started a high school group at my school in 1992. It was an all-boys school, so obviously an all-boys group called Indomitus, who are still going strong today. In 1994, I went to the University of Johannesburg where I sang in an all-male group called Y-Knot. I later became the musical director and then president of the group, and came in 2nd in the national collegiate competition in 1996. I sang with Y-Knot till 1998, when I finished my studies, and then became their coach from 2006 to 2009. I also started my own post-collegiate co-ed group called Nicoteen in 2006. After 3 years the group disbanded. In December of 2010, I started a quintet called Minor Mayhem.

When did you first become involved with CASA?

With my post-collegiate group Minor Mayhem we were looking to do some really interesting arrangements, and I came across CASA, joined up and got all the wonderful benefits from the CASA websites, including some really cool arrangements. Offering my services as an Ambassador was the next logical step.

What state, country or region do you cover as a CASA ambassador?

I am the Ambassador for South Africa.

What role do you play as a CASA ambassador and/or what role would you like to play?

In South Africa the a cappella community is very large and diverse, from collegiate groups by the dozens, to professional and semi-professional groups. With the large amounts of groups, especially collegiate groups, only a few have recorded and the recordings are not on the same level as the rest of the world (especially the US). I would like to change that. Currently I am planning an a cappella conference (ala SoJam) early in 2013, with masterclasses in all aspects of a cappella, with a possible international speaker (any volunteers?) and a performance at the end of the conference with a possible international act (any volunteers? no seriously!) This conference will be held at 5 universities over South Africa, to give the collegiate and other groups a chance to come to the conference (South Africa is big and travel might be a problem for certain groups...)

Furthermore, I have started getting in contact with recording studios who might be willing to record groups at reduced rates. The big thing is to start creating a culture of recording a cappella in South Africa, and to get people to do it properly from the start. As part of this plan, I am attempting to secure sponsors for the collegiate competitions, and to give as a first prize for each group who goes to the national competition a professional recording of their set. The winners of nationals will then receive a full album recording deal. 

What do you do for work and play?

I work in the television industry as a director. Currently I am working on The BBC Worldwide series "Come Dine With Me: South Africa", and also worked on the South African version of Survivor for 2 seasons. I sing in my free time and is currently working on some multi-tracked a cappella stuff... 

Tell us one thing about yourself people would be surprised to learn

I am obsessed with Superheroes. 

Favorite a cappella group?

Groove for Thought, On The Rocks, Flip-A-Coin (SA group)

Favorite type of music?

Jazz, Pop, House

Favorite a cappella concert?

“The Sing-Off“ season 2 (does that count?)

Anything you'd like the CASA readership to know about your area?

South Africa is a wonderland of a cappella. And it’s just gonna get bigger. Hold on to your seats...