Budding artists shine at art festival

Thandeka Kakazi and Pamela Mgxakazi kept the crowd on the edge of their seats with their breathtaking performance.

Site B was abuzz with excitement when the Kasi-2-Kasi public art festival came to town, at the Tembisa Ratanga hall, on Saturday June 4.

Budding musicians, poets, dancers, actors and actresses showcased their talent, leaving scores of spectators begging for more.

Under the theme “K2KPAF 7784 INVASION”, the event aimed to provide young and upcoming artists an opportunity to showcase their talent and encourage them to venture into the creation of public art.

Event co-ordinator, Azuza Radu said their mission was to introduce different forms of art to the community and appealed for support.

She said before the event, they hosted mentorship programmes and workshops with the aim of shaping and polishing some of the acts which were put on display.

She said they hoped that the artists would use the festival as a stepping stone in advancing and furthering their careers.

The festival also provided an opportunity for experienced artists to share their knowledge and provide guidance to the budding artists.

Ms Radu said the festival would not only benefit Cape Town-based artists, but national and international artists. “We need more of these events because our communities are not exposed to other forms of art,” she said.

Since the festival was launched last year, Ms Radu said they noticed that the upcoming artists were hungry to showcase their talent, but they had limited platforms. “We appeal to the public to protect, care and love public spaces because they had been built for them,” she said.

Ms Radu believes that most people living in poverty-stricken communities had been deprived opportunities to visit theatres because it was too expensive to do so and they felt that it was fitting to host the event in such communities.

However, funding was the major stumbling block. “We paid the groups that performed here and in the last event we held in Delft in April we did not pay them because we did not receive any funding. And even if we had not received any funding for this event we were still going to continue to host the event because we can’t allow funding to stop us from doing what we love,” she said.

Ms Radu said they aim to host the festival in all the provinces and lure established artists.

Member of the Unseen Spirits and Healing dancing group, Lusanda Dayimane, said the event plays a critical role in enabling upcoming artists to showcase their talent and skills. She hailed event organisers, saying it was a step in the right direction.

“The dancing piece we performed was about people who battled with internal spirits whether traditional spirits or any other spirits. We had been performing this piece from last year. In the coming months we will be jetting off to Grahamstown to perform the same pieces and others,” she said.

Mandisi Sindo, artistic director and curator for the event, said following a successful premiere of the event in Delft in April they opted to host it again. He said they hope to host quarterly events. “The concept behind the festival is to awaken the dead spaces in the communities that are not seen to represent the people who occupy them. Our previous festivals have shown that public art is a need in our communities hence we want this to take be place quarterly in each deprived township of this country,” he said.

Mr Sindo said they had battled with funding, but thanked the Community Arts and Culture Centres Federation of the Western Cape and Collective of Creative Artists for funding the event. “We urge business people to support this initiative, “ he said.