We are hosting Masha Gubkina and Lesley Jennings

Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 4:00 – 7:00 PM UTC

Masha Born in Belarus and relocated to SA in 2007. Completed an honours degree in French Literature at UFS in 2010 and is now tutoring at Alliance Française de Bloemfontein. Masha is the a co- owner of Arista Guesthouse Lesley She's making waves in the entertainment industry and is the brains behind the popular hangout ‘Jazz on the Lawn’ and the managing director of GigCulture

About this event


Born in Belarus, she relocated to SA in 2007. After completing an honours degree in French Literature at UFS in 2010, she applied her love of the language and knowledge of French culture to tutoring at Alliance Française de Bloemfontein. Currently, she is a President of the AFDB and Delf/Dalf language proficiency examiner, freelance translator and interpreter. As the multitasker she is, Masha, as all know her, is a co- owner of Arista Guesthouse. Through this endeavour she has been privileged to do what she love, work with people and ensure that they are happy and comfortable; whilst attending to the day to day running of a successful business. She has a passion for Bloemfontein and is especially gratified when she is able to promote our wonderful city to the weary traveller who thinks a stop-over or business trip to Bloemfontein will be 'boring'. this is how the Arista blog was created. A blog is part of the information that provides potential visitors to the happenings of our beautiful city: http://blog.aristaguesthouse.co.za/. In 2016 she was presented with the opportunity to be a co-director of Startup Grind's Bloemfontein Chapter. This spoke to her passion for networking and her belief in empowerment and knowledge-sharing. It is a first for Bloemfontein, and addresses the need for aspiring entrepreneurs to meet and network with industry leaders within our City.


She grew up in a house where she, her father and her brother played musical instruments, predominantly jazz, rock n roll and blues. Jennings told Bloemfontein Courant that this was certainly where her love for music started. “I consider myself a very passionate person when I do something, I believe in doing it to the best of my ability.”

She explained she had done other jobs as a teacher and saxophonist and this plethora of exposure shaped her to become an understanding person, appreciative of an industry that many look down on, and she is certainly passionate about business and South Africa. Lesley said her niche and main focus is hosting and promoting jazz concerts.

Jennings describes Jazz on the Lawn as an absolutely special experience and added that it is not often that an event concept lasts, due to many reasons, but she believes that Windmill Casino hosting this event has been an integral part of its success.

She said that her business has taken many different shapes and forms, GigCulture was inspired by the challenges people face in the industry, for musicians, clients and audience members. “I don’t think I am fully aware of all the solutions, but the first step in making a difference is to take the first step. I can’t imagine doing anything else, and being able to contribute to the development of our industry in the Free State is such a humbling experience.”

Check out what happened



Wednesday, May 29, 2019
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM UTC


4:00 PMRegistration
5:00 PMFireside Chat
6:00 PMNetworking