Cornishman Mark Sampson came to South Africa on a surfing holiday in 1992, and stayed on to work as a histologist in the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. Coventrian Sam Pearce, an Oxford graduate, came on a convalescent holiday in 1994 in an attempt to recover from the chronic illness M.E. They met in Cape Town in 1996 and married in 1998, in between working at various music festivals notably Up The Creek as MC and PRO respectively.

In 1999, they founded the Cape Comedy Collective, SA first cross-cultural comedy initiative, mentoring 16 year old Loyiso Gola, Kagiso Lediga, Riaad Moosa, Conrad Koch,  Kurt Schoonraad, Stuart Taylor, Nik RabinowitzDave Levinsohn, Tshepo MogaleTracy Klass, Khaya Dlanga et al in their weekly free Comedy Lab. In 2003, they took a CCC show to the International Edinburgh Fringe Festival, in partnership with Old Mutual, the Department of Arts and Culture and the British Council, garnering 4 star reviews.

Cape Comedy Collective in 2000

Since 2005 Sampson has written and toured 3 solo shows nationwide:

Missing Links comedy about evolution with a diversity message

Feels Funny comedy about depression and growth through adversity in SA

Africa Clockwise comedy about climate change reflecting on African values and resilience.

In 2005, Pearce, who has a Masters in Diversity Studies from UCT, founded the eMzantsi Carnival community-building project. In 2009, eMzantsi was granted R8million by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund for their primary and high school twinning programmes. In 2012, the eMzantsi mapiko recycled arts training project for single mothers and adult disabled learners was granted US$81000 from UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity.

Pearce speaks French and will be representing the Arterial Network en route, meeting with arts and culture organisations in each country to spread a message of connection and pan-African pride. The Minister of Arts and Culture has also officially endorsed the Africa Clockwise adventure: Pearce and Sampson will be cultural ambassadors for South Africa on this trip, promoting the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance and the efforts of SA artists to draw attention to climate change across the continent respectively. Sampson will be performing the Africa Clockwise show at SA embassies and schools along the way.

Sampson and Pearce are residents of Noordhoek in Cape Town, and have a biological daughter and adopted son who both attended Masakhane Educare, an isiXhosa pre-school in the neighbouring township of Masiphumelele, before going to Fish Hoek Primary School.

In 2019, Pearce founded the African Climate Alliance with her teenaged daughter to coordinate the Cape Town climate strikes and encourage an Afrocentric approach to the Fridays For Future movement.

4 Responses to Background

  1. Ken Green ND says:

    I was introduced to your project by your father. I live in Malaga province in Spain now, but was born in South Africa where I trained in agriculture for the government in the 60’s. I then went back to college and studied naturopathy and homeopathy for four years, then going to the UK to study osteopathy. To cut a long story short I ended up working in a posh clinic-spa and one of the visiting clients suffered severely from ME. I treated her and she was so relieved to be rid of the condition that she mentioned it in a ‘Hello’ magazine article. Her cure meant that she could go back to running her very successful business which I believe she is still running to this day. The following is from a link online:
    Lady Elizabeth Anson, the sister of the late photographer Lord Lichfield and a cousin to the Queen on her mother’s side, runs her business, Party Planners, from her home in Ladbroke Grove, London.
    Perhaps you could appeal to her famous sense of humour and get some support for your ambassadorial projects. It will take a bit of online search starting with Party Planners. I used to know many of her family connections as they had treatments from me at one time or another. I also met Lady Elizabeth’s aunt, the Queen Mother, in 1984. Feel free to use my name if it helps!
    Perhaps you should also look into curing your ME – it is possible. The company, Metabolics, in Swindon has been at the forefront of treating ME through nutrition and metabolic testing. Look at their website.
    You can pass messages to me via your father who I see at Trapiche Jardin market every week.

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to pass on all this info Ken, it’s certainly given me food for thought. Sorry I didn’t get to see you while we were in Spain, we were overtaken by quickly changing circumstances, but thanks for all the help you’re giving my Dad, much appreciated. Cheers, Sam

  2. Pingback: M.E. Too or Why I am No Longer NOT Speaking to Doctors about Chronic Illness | Africa Clockwise

  3. Pingback: ACA Deep Adaptation Open Space in Cape Town – African Climate Alliance

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