Last night, the Baxter Theatre Centre’s Masambe Theatre in Cape Town came alive when 12 talented young performing artists gave their all on stage, in hopes of winning an Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Scholarship.
Funded by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), the 2016 Scholarships Programme will change the lives of these dramatic arts, singing, dance and musical theatre students who clinched Scholarships worth R320,000 in total.
The Cape Town showcase saw these first and second year university students, perform in one of three categories; acting, dance and singing. In the first year acting category, the versatile Thembelihle Ngubo (Pietermaritzburg) was awarded a Scholarship, while Omphile Kgogome (Rustenburg) took home top honours for her incredible opera abilities. Each winner will receive R50,000 towards their studies.
The second year students, who will each receive R35,000 towards their degree or diploma, are multi-talented actress Tshegofatso Mabutla (Western Cape) and electric dancer Awonke Mtgana (KwaZulu-Natal).
The judges last night, Artscape’s Creative manager, Mandla Mbothwe; Director of The Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Caroline Calburn; and actress, Ntomoboxolo Makhutshi had some very difficult decisions to make, as every single one of the finalists performed with determination, charisma and style.
The ACT CEO, Pieter Jacobs says of last night’s victors; “We congratulate and welcome these fine young performers to the ACT family. We implore them to not only take their own development seriously and strive for excellence but that they would pay it forward for the greater good of the industry when they have the opportunity to do so.”
Mrs Thabang Mampane, Commissioner of the NLC says they are honoured to assist these young artists reach their full potential. “Grants of this nature are in line with Governments commitment to provide opportunities for the youth of South Africa,” Mampane says.
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.
This Cape Town showcase was the first of a number of final rounds in the ACT Scholarships Programme. The singing, dancing and musical theatre finalists based in Johannesburg and its surrounds, will go head-to-head next week at the Con Cowan Theatre on the UJ Campus. The winners of this leg, will also be announced on the night.
Then, on 10 October, six triple threat matric students will sing, dance and act before an audience and a panel of judges in hopes of laying claim to a Scholarship that will entitle to them to begin their performing arts studies at an accredited South African tertiary institution of their choice.
For more information, please visit www.act.org.za/programmes/scholarships.html.