On Saturday afternoon, the stage at the University of Johannesburg’s Con Cowan Theatre played host to a phenomenal showcase of performing arts talent. And, by the end of the show, four university students walked away with R170,000 worth of Scholarships to continue their tertiary studies.
This Johannesburg leg of the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Scholarships Programme saw first year dancer Bronwyn Adams (Western Cape) and first year musical theatre student Sindisile Nkuna (Mpumalanga) each take home R50,000 worth of Scholarship funding, while second year singer Katleho Mokhoabane (Free State) and second year musical theatre student Songezo Khumalo (KwaZulu-Natal) won R35,000 respectively.
Tasked with selecting the winners were Moving into Dance’s CEO, Nadia Virasamy; theatre director and designer, Jade Bowers; and actress, Nicole Murugan – no easy feat, as the caliber of this year’s finalists was truly top notch.
ACT CEO, Pieter Jacobs says Saturday’s showcase was further testament to the abundance of creative talent our country possesses. “After seeing the finalists battle it out on stage, there’s no doubt that not only the recipients but also some of the runners-up will become household names and delight audiences for many years into the future.”
Funded by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), this year R320,000 is allocated to budding performing artists in their first and second year of tertiary studies from around the country.
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,” she says.
Since 2009, ACT has been supporting arts students through their Scholarship Programme. But 2016 is an exciting year for the Programme as there are more Scholarships on offer than ever before.
The Cape Town showcase, which took place last month saw four more university students clinch prize money to further their studies. And, 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.
About The Winners
FIRST YEAR DANCE
Twenty two-year-old Bronwyn Adams’ passion for dance started at the age of seven. She is skilled in various dance genres, with a particular focus on African and Contemporary. In 2010, during her high school years, Adams joined the London-based AA Dance Company. After matriculating, she trained with Dance for All, gaining experience in Spanish, Cabaret, Salsa, Jazz and Hip Hop. At the Rainbow Academy of Performing Arts in 2015, she became skilled in business, playing different instruments and in the dramatic arts. She has appeared on live TV shows such as Expresso and Hectic9nine. Currently studying at the UCT School of Dance, she plans on becoming a dance choreographer and giving back to the community.
FIRST YEAR MUSICAL THEATRE
Nkuna, from Mpumalanga, was raised in White River by a single mother of six children. Matriculating in 2015, Nkuna, who has always loved music and performance, groomed her talent by singing at public events and writing plays for school talent shows. Though she has faced challenges as a performer, she continues to grow. She wants to feed and heal souls with what she has learnt. She aspires to inspire.
SECOND YEAR MUSICAL THEATRE
Khumalo is an inspired student at Oakfields College. She was born in Port Elizabeth but grew up and finished her primary school in Ladysmith, KZN, where her family is based. She attended high school at the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein, majoring in Drama and this is where her passion and love for the arts grew. She has been involved in both backstage and onstage work. Khumalo is currently involved in a production directed by Prof. Harold Mortimer, from The University of Oklahoma, and Weslee Lauder, which was performed at the NAF2016.
SECOND YEAR SINGING
Mokhoabane is a second year student at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), currently doing his diploma in vocal art under the supervision of Thami Zungu. Coming from a small town in the Free State, Mokhoabane completed his Matric in 2014 with a National Diploma. He was involved in the school choir were he gained a love for opera. At the TUT he was involved in Coronation Mass by WA Mozart, The Magic Flute by WA Mozart and Falstaff by G Verdi. He is currently busy with Cosi fan Tutte playing the role of Ferando. After completing his Diploma, Mokhoabane would like to study at the University of Cape Town to get close to the one opera company that is operating fulltime in South Africa.
Issued by The Famous Idea on behalf of The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT)