Every year since 2009 ACT plays host to the most fabulous arts evening – the finals for the ACT Scholarships. The 8th such evening was held last night at The Market Theatre. It is quite something for these young people from all over the country to perform on a stage as illustrious as the John Kani stage. I wonder if they realise this?
The six finalists were Thandaza Silwane, Virtuous Kandemiiri, Tamzin Williams, Sibusio Nhlapo, Robin Castle, Jeani Heyns. As always, being an adjudicator must have been a very difficult task because each of these finalists was talented in all three of the triple threat disciplines, singing, dancing and acting. They spent a week being mentored in their final preparation for the audition, and also had to undergo an interview process which plays an important part in the judges’ decision making. The show last night was compered by Lindelwa Nkosi, who also had to audition for the position. She was SUPERB. I loved her.
Virtuous Kandemiiri from Gauteng was awarded the first prize Scholarship of R105,000, while Tamzin Williams of the Western Cape won a Scholarship worth R54,000, and Robin Castle from the Eastern Cape walked away with R40,000. The runners-up, Thandaza Silwane (KwaZulu-Natal), Sibusiso Nhlapo (Gauteng) and Jeani Heyns (Western Cape) also received funding to help kick-start their tertiary education.
“While this was a massive highlight and a wonderful end to a long process, it is merely the beginning,” says ACT CEO, Pieter Jacobs. “The real work starts now and the Arts & Culture Trust looks forward to supporting and mentoring these exceptional young performers while they prepare to enter the industry.”
The major sponsors which made these bursaries possible were the National Lottery Commission, DALRO, and Nedbank Arts Affinity programme.