Choreographers, dancers and actors from the townships want their work and performances to remain in their areas so that local residents can benefit from it.
The artists met at the Inkcubeko Yethu Art Festival, which was hosted by the Ubuntubethu Organisation at the Tsoga Centre in Samora Machel on Saturday February 10.
The festival brought together people from different cultural backgrounds to showcase their talent.
Singers, composers and fine artists were among those who took part.
The aim was to create opportunities for local talent, while also nurturing and promoting them.
The budding artists also had the opportunity to experience work done by professionals. There were also sports activities.
Co-founder of the Ubuntubethu NGO, Nokubonga Mepeni, said her organisation wants to show how heritage can be protected and promoted.
She urged artists and patrons to use the festival as a platform to reflect on who they are and where they come from.
She said young people could shape their destiny through art.
“We intend to promote local talent, render arts and culture productions like dance, music, marimba and drama and also outreach programmes for elderly and disabled people in the community. This is part of cultural awareness. We want people to stop going to the big theatres of this world; it is a waste of money when we can produce theatre right here. We are not only showcasing talent but we are rewarding them. We have seven categories namely, traditional dance, music, traditional attire dressing, sport, poetry, drawing and five-aside-soccer teams. Each category is allocated a price of
R1 000,” she said.
Ms Mepeni said she was happy that people packed the hall for the love of local talent.
However, she said local work cannot remain in the townships without the support of the people and government.
“Without people’s support and that of the government we are nothing. For us to win the battle, they need to love what we are doing. But I am happy that the provincial Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport is supportive. Slowly this festival is going to be the talk of the town. This is its second year. We want it to be annually,” she said.
Senior citizens were also present, dressed in their traditional African attire.
Resident Nolubabalo Nkuzi applauded the organisers for a job well done.
She said it was her first time seeing such an event where young and old came together to celebrate heritage.
“This is an amazing event. I never thought that I would see such talent in the townships. This needs our support. If they can bring young and old together, we will win the battle against crime,” she said.