Cape Town, 19 November 2014 - Post the successful launch of the initial line-up for the 2015 Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF), espAfrika today announced, that after 15 years at the helm of the company, Rashid Lombard, CEO and founder of the much loved CTIJF, fondly known as 'Africa's Grandest Gathering' is passing the baton.

"After 15 years at the helm of the Festival and esp Afrika, it is time for me to pass the leadership baton to others. This is a good move for esp Afrika and myself. For some years a number of interesting opportunities have been knocking on my door that speak deeply to my knowledge and love of culture, and I will pursue them. It has been an incredible chapter in my life, but I am ready for the next phase of my working life."

"The Festival turns sixteen next year and is now a world-wide established brand, being voted in the top ten best in the world, and is firmly established with thousands of loyal 'festinos'. I felt it was time to hand over the baton knowing that the festival is in good hands and can continue to mature and expand, even beyond what I have envisioned."

Khalid Abdulla, Group CEO of Sekunjalo Investments Limited, espAfrika's majority shareholder, and board director of espAfrika (and who is actively involved in the business), remarked: "Despite preparation for this day, this is a bittersweet moment for all of us. But, we are also excited about the prospects for the future of the festival, the company and our continued journey as the Group explores new avenues and developments."

Lombard, who first became known as a photographer at the front line of the struggle for a new South Africa from its apartheid history, is also highly respected for his commitment and passion for culture, the arts and truth. In April of 2014 he was recognised with 'The Order of Ikhamanga Award' for his contribution to Arts & Culture over the past 40 years. Handing the award to Lombard, the nation's President said "We honour men and women who have left the definitive footprints in both the struggle for liberation and also in building a better South Africa.

The Rashid Lombard Family Trust remains a shareholder in esp Afrika along with Billy Domingo, Lombard's co-Founder of the company and the festival, who will remain as Chief Operating Officer to ensure the smooth transition.

Lombard concluded: "Whilst it has been an incredible chapter in my life and I am happy that jazz has 'caught on', I look forward to watching from the wings and seeing the team at espAfrika growing the company and of course the Festival."

All media enquiries to please be directed in writing to: Kaz Henderson
Networx PR

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