The Arts & Culture Trust announces successful ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme applicants

By CityLIfe Arts Writer

Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) has announced successful applicants for the Nyoloha Scholarship Programme 2023.

The 2023 Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Nyoloha Scholarship Programme (NSP) is a partnership between ACT, the Nedbank Arts Affinity and sponsors Sun International and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA)offering matriculants, school-leavers and budding arts practitioners the opportunity to win a fully paid undergraduate scholarship to study at a South African arts institution of their choice in 2024. Following the open call announcement earlier this year and the growing popularity of the ACT NSP, the closing date was extended resulting in a total of 158 applications from candidates across South Africa.

 Shortlisted applicants participated in an online audition and subsequent interview phase that started on 15 May and concluded on 2 June 2023. The qualifying applicants in each of the arts disciplines are as follows:

Participants selected for performing arts: Alicia Abrahams (Western Cape), Anastacia Pharo (Western Cape), Andile Mkhomazi (Mpumalanga), Asiphumeze Stuurman (Western Cape), Balungile Buthelezi (KwaZulu-Natal), Bonoko Dineo Khoda (Gauteng), Buhle Ledwaba (Gauteng), Buhle Mazibuko (Gauteng), Dikgabiso Motsisi (Western Cape), Elam Ngxaki (Western Cape), Entle Nikani (Western Cape) Gugu Kunene (Gauteng), Jarka Kluson (Gauteng), Justine Kaba (Eastern Cape), Karabo Motseki (Eastern Cape), Kekeletso Setona (Gauteng), Khazimla Dalasile (Eastern Cape), Lebohang Matlakala (Free State), Lerato Motseki (Eastern Cape), Lindiwe Ngwenya (Gauteng), Lungile Faith Kgomo (Mpumalanga), Mahlatse Laka (Gauteng), Masego Pheto (North West), Morongwa Mable Mohale (Limpopo), Mthobisi Khanyile (Gauteng), Naledi Lebelo (Free State), Naledi Mazibuko (Gauteng), Nicole Retief (Western Cape), Nonjabulo kubheka (Gauteng), Nsizwazakithi Mvubelo (Gauteng), Ntombikayise Ndlovu (Gauteng), Onalena Modise (Northern Cape), Owam Stragom (Eastern Cape), Paballo Lynn Pule (North West), Rethabile Maluleka (Gauteng), Sakhe Ntanjana (Eastern Cape), Sfiso Mahlangu (Gauteng), Sheila Onnetse Balerileng (Gauteng), Siphosethu Mayekiso (Eastern Cape), Thamsanqa Zungu (Gauteng), Thato Mateisi (Eastern Cape), Thato Segodi (Gauteng), Thina Sinenjongo Dinakhwe (Gauteng), Thuto Motloung (Gauteng), Tintswalo Nobuhle Mahlakolisane (Gauteng), Trinity Thomas (Gauteng), and Tshepang Gaya (Northern Cape).

 Participants selected for visual or digital arts: Andile Tetani (Eastern Cape), Azanda Nyangintsimbi (Gauteng), Elona Lebanesana (Northern Cape), Kgotso Matlaletsa (Gauteng), Lauren Wood           (KwaZulu-Natal), Lwazi Ndlovu (Gauteng),

Nkosinathi Mbuko (North West), Ongezwa Gqumo (Eastern Cape), Oratile Hamese (Gauteng), Rethabile Weevirs  (North West), Saxon Welsh (KwaZulu-Natal) Siphephelo Dladla (Gauteng), Siphesihle Hlatshwayo (Gauteng), Thabang Makgakwe (Gauteng), Thapelo Makhanya          (Gauteng), Themba Bene (Gauteng),

Tholwana Mokone (Gauteng), Timothy Clayton (Western Cape), Tshegofatso Moropane (Limpopo).

The programme commenced on 10 June with bi-weekly online training running until mid-August 2023. All the artists who passed the audition round will receive three months of professional training and mentorship. Artists will be rated by their mentors monthly and those performing the best over this three-month period will qualify for one of the 12 finalist spots. An additional three wild cards will be selected at the end of the training in an effort to identify talent that grew over the training period.

 Fleur de Bondt is the Visual and Digital Arts Mentor and Megan Carelse is the Performing Arts Assistant Mentor. They are joined by seasoned musical theatre actress, singer, and dancer Samantha Peo, who makes her return to the programme as Head Performing Arts Mentor, working closely with Megan Carelseto support the roll-out of the performing arts training component.

The finals week will be held from 2 October, culminating in an exhibition and showcase at a gala event on the 7 October 2023 when the winners of the performing arts category and visual or digital arts category will be announced. Each winner will receive a fully paid scholarship valued at up to R350 000 to study at an arts institution of their choice in South Africa.

 The theme for the 2023 ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme is ‘ImpACTing Futures’. This theme aims to propel the significant responsibility and collaborative role that the ACT and its partners, including Nedbank, Sun International, and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), play in positively shaping the futures of South African youth by encouraging them to be proactive agents of a digital, innovative, and sustainable future through art.

 ‘In Sesotho, Nyoloha means ‘to rise’ and the ACT NSP is an integral part of the ACT strategy to educate, upskill and empower those wishing to make a career in the arts and culture sector to rise to the opportunity,’ says ACT CEO Jessica Denyschen. ‘The programme presents the professional world of the arts and culture sector to young artists and exposes them to various role players and enablers who could advance their trajectory. We are enormously encouraged by the number of artists participating this year and we are excited to see the incredible emerging talent of our country.’

Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, says: ‘The ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme significantly contributes to the sustainable development and growth of our arts and culture heritage. These shortlisted participants are our future rising stars who will advance and preserve our country’s history, present and future narrative through the arts. We believe in these artists and the mentorship programme will help them to pursue their ambitions, dreams, as well as careers.’

Heidi Edson, Group Socioeconomic Development (SED) Specialist at Sun International, says: ‘Sun International is delighted to be a part of the ACT NSP. We fully support the work that the Arts & Culture Trust is doing in impacting futures by providing a platform to educate and upskill young people in the arts and culture sector. The ACT NSP not only impacts futures – it also provides a vital opportunity to talented youth to learn from mentors who are experts in various artistic fields. The life lessons learnt through the ACT NSP are key to positively impacting the futures of all the participants.’

 ACT, together with long-term partner Nedbank and returning partner Sun International and with Business and Arts South Africa (BASA),strongly believes in helping to build a better, more educated, sustainable arts industry in South Africa. The ACT NSP rewards commitment, excellence and growth potential. In addition to the scholarships, it also offers research grants and the creation of an alumni network.

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