Top actors to teach youngsters to act against crime
Several stage and TV personalities have given the thumbs up to a campaign that affirms and empowers the youth to use the arts to help spread the word about the folly and futility of crime.
Presley Chweneyagae, star of the award-winning movie Tsotsi, together with several other contemporaries has endorsed the yearly Stop Crime Drama Festival. The festival encourages the youth to write and stage their own plays, with a strong anti-crime plot.
"As someone who has been involved in the festival a decade ago as an actor, and two years ago as a playwright-director, I feel that the festival has helped me to disregard criminals around as being positive role models," Chweneyagae says.
His sentiments are shared by producer and star of the movie White Wedding Rapulana Seiphemo, e.tv drama Zone 14's co-stars Kere Nyawo and Carol Behane, SABC comedy personality Peter Mashigo, Stokvel's Dieketseng Mnisi and Isidingo's Darlington Michaels.
Seiphemo said: "When I was growing up in Soweto, I was immersed in youth development activities, and that kept me off the streets and has also helped shape my destiny. This project is no different."
Nyawo, who is a reforming convict, said: "Prison life is not fun and I would not wish it on anybody, so it is vital to help youths find alternatives to crime."
Michaels said it was an honour to "give back to society by being involved in what is really an artist's duty to reciprocate the support we get from our young fans, who would otherwise become social miscreants if they are not steered in the right direction".
Mashigo said he had seen many participating youths over the past decade realising their dreams as entertainers. "Most of them could have gravitated to any other unsavoury behaviour."
Mnisi said: "I would not want to see my own children being sucked into crime, that is why I am happy to see us catching them young."
Behane said allowing the youths to entertain other youngsters was a welcome break from the "conventional, classroom-type of warning children about the dangers of crime".
Auditions to choose plays to be performed at the festival at the Mmabana Cultural Centre in Mahikeng in June will be held throughout the North West from tomorrow until Sunday.