Splash of colour and creativity

Bhongolethu Primary Schools Lilitha Mazana and Alime Banjwa drumming for the crowd during the Artists in Schools (AiS) Human Rights Festival, at the Nyanga Arts Development Centre on Human Rights Day.

Despite load shedding disruptions, Nyanga primary schools put on a splash of colour and creativity at the Artists in Schools (AiS) Human Rights Festival, at the Nyanga Arts Development Centre on Human Rights Day, March 21.

All 23 primary schools were invited to display their talent at the annual event.

The festival, hosted in partnership with the Department of Arts and
Culture, had been arranged in response to the lack of quality arts and culture teachers as well as comprehensive education in public schools in the country.

The event at the Nyanga Arts Development Centre (NADC) lived up to expectations when schools showed what they are made of through dance, music, art and stage performances.

Young as they were, pupils did not shy away from discussing tough issues such as domestic violence, rape and human rights through their stage plays.

Schools are assisted by professional and self-employed arts practitioners who share their skills and knowledge in their respective communities.

Elated with the events of the day, programme manager of the project Lwazi Maseti, said considering that schools were on holiday, the attendance was good.

He said they expected more than 30 schools to take part but only 23 turned up.

However, he said they are happy with the numbers.

“We would have loved to have more schools but it was not to be. Thanks to the school principals who made a point of being
here the event is successful,” he said.

Mr Maseti also paid tribute to the Department of Arts and Culture for their consistent support of the programme. “It is to teach children creative arts at schools and it is working wonders. What makes us more happy is that now schools are starting to send children to NADC’s after-school classes. That is an achievement of the programme. We have seen here that schools seized their opportunity to showcase what they are up to in their art lessons and art clubs,” said a happy Mr Maseti.

Administrative secretary and programme manager for the Community Art Centre, Mteto Mzongwana, added that the aim of the art display event was to enhance the abilities of the creative children and to promote extracurricular art clubs in Nyanga.

“We grew up here watching the greats like braRay Ntlokwana and others. There were art clubs all over Nyanga. Our aim at NADC is to bring back that culture that has since deteriorated after 1994. But I must say we are over the moon with the talent shown here. The aim is to grow them beyond this,” he said.

Among those who attended the event was Mpho Mabule, deputy director for the national Department of Arts and Culture.

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