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Scholarship programme unearths young creative talent

Published Aug 31, 2015


Arts writer

SIX young performers are one step closer to fulfilling their dream of being one of three successful students to be awarded a share of R315 000 towards a scholarship to study performing arts.

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This opportunity is granted to them as part of the 7th annual Arts & Culture Trust (ACT), Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) and Nedbank Performing Arts Scholarships Programme. It encourages youths between the ages of 18 and 25, who aren’t considered professionals, and wish to pursue undergraduate studies in the performing arts, to participate in a national competition.

For the first time this year, ACT visited all nine provinces in the country, scouting for talent, which resulted in these top six finalists being chosen. The top three who win will be awarded grants of R150 000, R105 000 and R60 000 to further their studies at any accredited local tertiary institution of their choice.

The regional rounds attracted the participation of 194 candidates – showing the growth of the programme since its inception in 2009.

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“The standard of auditions in areas where aspirant performers have less access to development opportunities is surprising and encouraging. We are delighted that our national search for passion and potential yielded great results with five of our finalists coming from areas in the country considered as underserved,” says ACT CEO Pieter Jacobs.

After the nationwide search for the ultimate performer, regional judges scoped more than 776 performance items, looking for individuals with passion and talent in singing, dancing and acting.

This year’s six finalists are: Carla Smith (17), Andiswa Mbolekwa (19), Caleb Heynes (19), Masego Moloto (20), Jacques Mouton (22) and Emelda Tshegohatso Mothelesi (23).

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“Year seven! Wow! Once again DALRO is incredibly proud to be part of this amazing programme. Our passion for the stimulation, development and growth of the performing arts is our driving force, and that’s why it’s so important for programmes like this to exist. We would like to congratulate the finalists on their selection and wish them the best of luck with final performances. At DALRO we feel that it’s important to not only keep performing arts alive by means of our day-to-day business, but to also give back to the industry, by contributing to this programme, which has for years now, helped to ensure that our country’s future stars have opportunities that will help to make their dreams come true”, says supervisor for theatrical rights at DALRO, André Cloete.

The finalists will join the creative team, comprising industry professionals, from October 6 to 12 in Johannesburg, where they will undergo intensive rehearsals in preparation for the final round hosted for the first time by The Market Theatre in Johannesburg’s Newtown Precinct.

“Since inception, the Performing Arts Scholarship Programme has unearthed great talent, proving that South Africa has a lot of hidden gems that when discovered and polished, can indeed play an integral role in the socio-economic development of our country,” adds Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank.

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l For more information on the Scholarships programme:, Follow ACT on Twitter at!/actorgza

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