Walk will empower artists

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Twelve young artists will walk for 336 hours to raise funds for struggling artists.

They will walk from Johannesburg to Pietermaritzburg to raise funds for United Proactive Artists (UPA), an organisation catering for all spheres in the arts.

The walk starts on May 19 at 4am at the Johannesburg Library in Newtown and ends on June 6.

Organiser Bekezela Ngcobo said the aim is to reach the Arts, Culture and Tourism Department in Pietermaritzburg within two weeks. The artists, who hope to walk 30 kilometres a day, have started extensive training.

Ngcobo said the walk, for cultural change, seeks to draw attention to and to redress the plight of artists.

"Our primary aim it to raise funds for the establishment of a new entity called United Proactive Artists, which would be mainly managed by artists. We want to create employment for cultural practitioners in all disciplines. UPA will also support artists financially, especially those who are unable to work due to old age, disability and illness," Ngcobo said.

UPA wants to ensure regular employment for artists by organising their own cultural events, Ngcobo said.

"We want to create a burial scheme for artists and to conduct regular business skills workshops so that artists can have a better understanding of business elements, such as contracts."

Ngcobo added that companies and individuals have been invited to support the organisation and make pledges. All artists and sympathisers are also welcome to join the walk.