Exploiting arts and culture to help youth excel

Back: Khotso Mothapo, Shadrack Mbonani and Mduduzi Mtshali. Front: Themba Vamba, Mimi Mtshali and George Skhakha, of the Institute of Arts and Culture Academy, are ready to inspire and mentor young artists.

KwaThema – The newly founded Institute of Arts and Culture Academy aims to scout and groom artistic talent in learners as soon as possible.

“We realised there are many learners who are gifted in the arts, but there are no programmes in public schools to cultivate those talents adequately,” explains Themba Vamba, a teacher at Khangezile Primary School, where the programme will be run.

Vamba, who is also assistant project manager of the initiative, says there are many learners who know they are talented but cannot afford to enrol in schools that focus on the arts.

“We are also hoping this will help us reduce the number of learners who will be exposed to drugs and alcohol, if we give them something better to focus their energies on,” adds George Skhakha, principal of Khangezile Primary School.

He believes the youth get into trouble mostly because their minds are idle.

“We are so fortunate to have found people who are knowledgeable in these practices to spearhead the project,” he says.

Mduduzi Mtshali, piano and guitar instructor in the academy, says their aim is to build a school, equipped with all the necessary facilities for the budding artists.

The academy will offer theoretical and practical lessons in music (various instruments and vocal), videography, photography, drama and dance.

Institute of Arts and Culture Academy is inviting all learners and parents to its open day on July 8, at 8am, at Khangezile Primary School.

“This is also a platform for us to expose the youth to opportunities that exist in the arts.

People can make a living out of this,” adds Skhakha.

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Xoliswa Kali

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