Festival will be fun

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

Organisations and individuals who believe they have talent and are ready for the centre stage are invited to register and participate in the 18th Masakhane Arts and Cultural Festival.

The festival, which is fast becoming recognised for unearthing and mentoring stars, will showcase talent, celebrate the richness of South Africa's indigenous dance and music, and develop excellence in amateur music, theatre, poetry and dance. The showcase is likely to foster and promote mutual respect among communities.

This display of colour, rhythm and eloquence, perceived as integral to youth development, will be held from December 1 to 8 at the Emndeni Youth Centre in Soweto, Johannesburg.

To date, the Soweto-based fest has attracted groups from as far afield as QwaQwa, Tshwane, Thokoza, Newcastle and Nkandla. To give young people a chance to use their free time profitably, the festival runs during the off-school season. In this way, they are given a platform that helps them explore their talent, expressing themselves in art forms such as music, drama, poetry and dance.

Art is used to raise awareness about HIV-Aids and other issues, such as teenage pregnancy, through workshops conducted within the festival.

The Masakhane Festival forms part of World Aids Day, which coincides with its opening.

This year it will invite groups from rural areas to expose them to a big arts festival and to meet with groups from other backgrounds. The interaction inculcates a sense of pride and willingness to learn about each other's culture.

The excitement around and the survival of the festival revolves around its ability to absorb community members in its activities.

An opportunity is created for them to run their small enterprises, including flea markets. Among its many spin-offs is its ability to create much-needed jobs.

Interested community members can call 011-934-3435 or Audrey Khumalo on 079-811-0903.