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ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme Participants Announced

Arts & Culture Trust announces qualifying participants for the annual ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme

The 2024 Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Nyoloha Scholarship Programme (NSP) is a partnership between ACT, the Nedbank Arts Affinity and sponsors Sun International, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), and MTN South Africa offering matriculants, school-leavers and budding arts practitioners the opportunity to be awarded 1 of 2 fully paid undergraduate scholarships to study at a South African arts institution of their choice in 2025. A total of 302 applications from candidates across South Africa were received. 

The qualifying applicants in each of the arts disciplines are as follows:

ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme  Participants selected for performing arts: Austin Lee September (Western Cape), Bonolo Khanye (Free State), Buhle Funani (Gauteng), Dineo Makua (Mpumalanga), Griffies Nkhahle (Eastern Cape), Hlombe Languza (Gauteng), Junior Ndumiso Mnisi (Mpumalanga), Karabo Mokhwibitjane (Gauteng), Katelyn Cruden (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Keakgantsa Ntuli    (Gauteng), Keamogetswe Maringa (Gauteng), Kearabetswe Mpho Kgwadi (Free State), Kgabo Elizabeth Tauatsoala (Gauteng), Kgopolang KG Moyo (Gauteng), Khanya Maji (Eastern Cape), Khulekani Jethro KJ Nxumalo (Gauteng), Khulekani Ntshuntsha (Eastern Cape)  Leponesa Mokwena (Free State),  Lihle Lijadu Gavern Mahlangu (Gauteng), Mandla Ngwane (Gauteng), Mpilo Zandamela (Gauteng), Mpumelelo Dlamini (Mpumalanga), Nhlonipho Mashiane (Mpumalanga), Noluvo Vava (Western Cape), Nomfundo Surprise Lehlongwa (Mpumalanga), Nomvuselelo Lucy Mahlangu (Gauteng), Nosipho Nhlapo (Gauteng), Nosipho Thabede (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Nthole Comfort Maine (Gauteng), Ntokozo Malope (Gauteng), Olwethu Nkonyane (Gauteng),  Ravonne Naidoo (Gauteng), Refilwe Mokgale (Gauteng), Rethabile Mafalala (Eastern Cape),  S’Qalo Amandla Nhleko (Gauteng), Sibongiseni Daniel (Gauteng), Silondokuhle Cebekhulu (Gauteng), Sinelizwi Miza (Eastern Cape), Teboho Tsoenyane (Free State), Thabo Enock Stuurman (Gauteng) Thando Lucky Ndala (Gauteng), Thulisile Nolizwi Manciya (Western Cape), Triston Briyan Jeptha (Free State), Tsholofelo Moeketsi (Gauteng), Zandile Zanele Matonsi (Mpumalanga), Zazi Bailey (Free State), Zime Silinda (Gauteng), and Ziyanda Ndawo (Kwa-Zulu Natal).

Participants selected for visual/digital arts: Alexander Berry (Gauteng), Amina Bux (Western Cape),  Anke Gaugler (Western Cape),  Ayanda Dube (Gauteng), Bonolo Nyatshane (North West), Bontle Omphile Thabede (Mpumalanga), Firdows Dawjee (Gauteng), Hephzibah Nozuko Makha (Gauteng), Jordan Esterhuizen (Gauteng), Josh Hewitt (Free State), Joy Florrice (Gauteng), Juan-Ridge Isaacs (Western Cape), Katlego Diseko (Gauteng), Katleho Gumede (Gauteng), Lesedi Majola (Gauteng), Leshata Kevin Gololo (Mpumalanga), Logan Nathan (Western Cape), Luxolo Peter (Western Cape), Luyanda Ndimande (Mpumalanga), Mokabane Phaishi (Limpopo),  Neo Zakharia Folotsi (North West), Ntando Mabaso (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Olothando Blouw (Western Cape), Phillipine Mokgadi Nkgudi (Gauteng), Siphesihle Madlala (Gauteng), Thandiswa Duma (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Thato Matsheru (Gauteng), Thulisile Eunice Ntuli (Mpumalanga), Tiafalo Kekana (Gauteng) and Zakirah Nicolaas (Western Cape).

ACT Nyoloha Training Programme Participants selected for performing arts:  Asanele Tibisono (Western Cape), Avela Nxonose (Gauteng), Bongani Radebe (Gauteng), Gabriella L’etang (Gauteng), Lindani Blessing Shozi (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Luyanda Maseko (Mpumalanga), Mathakha Dzimbale (Mpumalanga), Mbalenhle Ngubeni (Gauteng) Kabelo Michael Setona (Gauteng),  Mpho Kgomokoana (Gauteng), Neo Naome (Mpumalanga), Nonhlanhla Hlatshwayo (Gauteng), Nontshola Khumalo (Gauteng), Obakeng More (Free State), Pfunzo Percy Mahafha (Gauteng) Philansande Mpanza (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Rozelle Philander (Gauteng), Siphesihle Mayephu (Gauteng), Siphosethu Nananji Mhlongo (Gauteng),  Swaziland Thandy Sekwane (Mpumalanga), Thapelo Monkhe (Mpumalanga) and Tokelo Makatile (Gauteng). 

Participants selected for visual/digital arts:  Asanda Msabala (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Avuyile Ntwanambi (Western Cape), Bonginkosi Muchanga (Gauteng),  Hlomola Thabang Mokoena (Mpumalanga), Kamohelo Molefe (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Naledi Makhosazane Mahomane (Gauteng), Nombuzo Nokhele (Gauteng) and Sthembiso Sinobami (Kwa-Zulu Natal).

The programme commenced on 8 June with bi-weekly online training running until mid-August 2024. All the artists who passed the audition round will receive 3 months of professional training and mentorship. Artists will be rated by their mentors monthly and those performing the best over this 3-month period will qualify for 1 of the 15 finalist spots.

Zanele Mashumi is the Visual and Digital Arts Mentor and Grant Towers 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 Grant Towers to support the roll-out of the performing arts training component.

The finals week will be held from 23 September, culminating in an exhibition and showcase at a gala event on the 28 September 2024 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 R300 000 to study at an arts institution of their choice in South Africa.

The theme for the 2024 ACT NSP is #NyolohaAfrica: Our canvas, our voice, our future. It’s time to reimagine South Africa through the voices and creativity of the ACT NSP candidates. Think African modes of storytelling, performance, and visual art connected with immersive technologies. This theme aims to propel the significant responsibility and collaborative role that the ACT and its partners 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. ‘We are enormously proud of our previous ACT Programme finalists and winners who have made significant progress pursuing their arts career choice to become meaningful industry contributors and role models. We are excited to see this year’s incredible emerging talent join this ever-growing pool of talented, rising young South Africans.’

Poovi Pillay, Executive Head of Corporate Social Investment at Nedbank, says: ‘Congratulations to all the wonderful talented young artists selected for the ACT Nyoloha Scholarship’s mentorship and training programme. We cannot wait to see how you all grow and attain new levels of artistry and self-development over the next 3 months. You are our rising stars and we believe in you and your ability. We know that through the mentorship programme, you will take giant leaps in pursuing your ambitions, dreams and careers.’

Heidi Edson, Group Socioeconomic Development Specialist at Sun International, says: ‘Sun International is delighted to continue to be a partner of the ACT NSP. ACT’s work does not only upskill young people in the arts and culture sector, it also offers candidates the opportunity to interact with mentors, thereby learning life lessons directly from people who are experts in various artistic fields. Education is key to success and we congratulate the qualifying candidates, while wishing them every success in the next step of ACT NSP.’

ACT, together with its NSP partners 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.

To keep in touch with the ACT, visit their website, follow them on X(formerly Twitter), or like their Facebook page.

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