After combing the country for its finest first and second year university-level performing artists, the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) have selected 24 finalists who are in the running for NLC Scholarships.
These 24 students, who excel in either acting, dance, musical theatre or singing, will go head-to-head at final rounds in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
ACT has been supporting arts students through their Scholarship Programme since 2009. But 2016 is an exciting year for the Programme as there are more Scholarships on offer to Grade 12 scholars and first and second year university students than ever before.
Funded by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), and supported by the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Organisation (DALRO) and the Nedbank Arts Affinity, the 2016 Scholarships Programme will change the lives of dramatic arts, singing, dance and musical theatre scholars and students with scholarships to the value of R800 000.
The first year students to make it through to the acting finals are; Nambitha Tyelbooi (Johannesburg), Enyha Swanepoel (Cape Town), and Thembelihle Ngubo (Pietermaritzburg). The first year dance finalists are; Bronwyn Adams (Cape Town), Mari-Claire van Heerden (Pretoria), and Sherizaan Crosson (Pretoria). All three of the first year musical theatre finalists hail from Pretoria, they are; Sindisile Nkuna, Khumbulani Bonani, and Mpilwenhle Sikhosana. Another Pretorian to make it is singer Omphile Kgogome, while Cape Town sees two singing finalists; Blaine Josephs and Aqeela Solomons.
In the second year grouping Yonela Ngoni (Durban), Tshegofatso Mabutla (Cape Town), and Ayabonga Makanya (Cape Town) will be competing in the acting category. Awonke Mtojana (Cape Town), Zoe Hannan (Cape Town), and Luzanne De Leeuw (Pretoria) have made it through to the dance finals. Pretorians Hizel Riffel, Songezo Khumalo, and Joëlle Rochecouste will battle it out for a musical theatre scholarship. And Nokukhanya Ntuli (Potchefstroom), Katleho Mokhoabane (Pretoria), and Mihi Matshingana (Johannesburg) will attempt to sing their way to a scholarship.
ACT CEO, Pieter Jacobs says of this collection of gifted university students; “Having gone through the national audition process we are confident that the future of the performing arts in South Africa is in good hands. Choosing from the great talent we have seen during the regional auditions was no easy task and we look forward to seeing the careers of these young artists unfold.”
The Cape Town showcase, set to take place on Wednesday, 21 September at the Baxter Theatre, will see each student from the Western Cape and surrounds perform two pieces, before an audience and a panel of judges. At the end of this showcase, the judges will select a Scholarship recipient in each of the four categories.
The finalists based in Johannesburg and its surrounds, will then go through the exact same process at the Con Cowan Theatre on the UJ Campus on Saturday, 1 October, with the recipients also being announced on the same night.
For more information, please visit www.act.org.za/programmes/scholarships.html.