Sibikwa is getting bigger and better

Patience Bambalele

When Phylis Klotz and Small Ndaba founded Sibikwa Arts Centre in Benoni 21 years ago, they wanted to instil pride and to enrich the lives of people through drama, dance and music.

The centre still continues to inspire audiences.

Its exciting programmes for 2009 will take the arts to a higher level. Executive director Klotz says the theme this year is Celebrate Africa.

"Looking back over the past year, we can say 2008 was both successful and eventful. We never compromise on quality or excellence, whether we perform at major theatres or in prisons," she says.

Last year, Klotz and Ndaba won the Ekuhurleni Honorary Mayoral Achiever Awards for their contribution to arts in Ekuhurleni.

The year kicks off with a powerful school programme. The centre recently formed the Sibikwa Arts Dance Company, which is sponsored by Rand Merchant Bank.

The programme includes lectures, demonstrations and auditions for aspirant dancers. It will select 10 to 15 dancers to take part in a festival at Sibikwa Arts Centre in May.

Klotz says: "This year Sibikwa will again host the HIV-Aids school programme Khulumani. Suitable for both high and primary pupils, it will take place this month and next month."

The Saturday Arts Academy continues to offer classes in pennywhistle, music theory and ballet.

The annual Story Telling Festival, a cultural explosion celebrating history, language, tradition and music, takes place next month.