Young people praised for embracing their culture

Director of Inclusive Arts at Artscape, Thoko Ntshinga, urged young people to protect their culture.

Khayelitsha is abundantly blessed with talent. This was evident when Makukhanye Shack Theatre in partnership with Artscape held an indigenous arts event in Khayelitsha last Sunday.

Budding poets, dancers and musicians kept the audience entertained with their thrilling performances.

Despite the show being two hours long, the audience kept begging for more. The two organisations partnered to provide a much-needed platform for, and exposure to young and gifted aspiring artists.

But the intention of this collaboration was also to promote the importance of traditional dance and language and to teach the young artists about the key values of preserving languages and learning about other African cultures.

Director of Inclusive Arts at Artscape, Thoko Ntshinga, said this programme was essential as it taught young artists that they could make a living out of their craft.

But, she said, it was also important to instil love and pride for their culture and heritage.

She added that languages and cultural customs were facing a slow demise and it was critical that such intervention was being made so that the next generation keeps them alive.

Ms Ntshinga praised the young artists for taking a well-informed and conscious decision of being involved in cultural related arts.

She said these young artists had been attending workshops at Artscape since last year, enhancing their skills and that she hoped the critical skills passed on to them would help them make it in this tough industry.

“Im proud to see young ones being involved in such programmes. This is the future of the country. We should support anything that talks about African culture. It is up to us to protect and preserve our heritage.

“Our culture defines us. Culture brings a sense of belonging. We should be proud of who we are. Young people should know their roots,” she said.

Ikumkani Yesizwe SamaDumisa, Zanomthetho Ruba Gawulana, said as chiefs it was important that they supported such initiatives.

He said traditional leaders were custodians of culture and it made them excited and proud that young people were taking action to keep their heritage alive.

He said they had made it their duty to attend such programmes to show their support and that it was time for Africans to unite and protect their culture.

Makukhanye Shack Theatre founder and group leader, Vuyokazi Sihele, said she was pleased and blessed that she had had the opportunity to expand her knowledge and that the young people felt empowered and many felt they could become professional dancers.