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The SBYA award winners who share their success

Published on 18 May 2016

Our Artistic Director Ismail Mahomed says he enjoys celebrating the upward trajectory of Standard Bank Young Artists, ‘but what fills me with inspiration and hope is being able to watch how they’ve moved forward to create opportunities for other artists’. There are many such stories, including:

  • Hlengiwe Lushaba Madlala (SBYA 2006: Dance) and Zinzi Princessy Mhlongo (SBYA 2012: Theatre), who run THE PLAT4ORM, an artist space in the Newtown precinct.
  • Ntshieng Mokgoro (SBYA: Theatre), who launched the Olive Tree Theatre in Alexandra. She also heads up a Women’s Theatre Festival.
  • Janni Younge (2010: Theatre) has launched her own company, Janni Younge Productions. Don’t miss production of The Firebird at the Festival this year.
  • Sylvaine Strike (2006: Theatre), who was the Featured Artist in 2014, founded and heads up the Fortune Cookie Theatre Company.
  • Sibongile Khumalo (1993: Jazz), apart from being an internationally celebrated diva and a South Africa treasure, creates opportunities for younger people through her company Magnolia Unlimited. See for more.
  • Lara Foot (1996; Theatre), who is this year’s Featured Artist, heads up the Baxter Theatre.
  • Gregory Maqoma (2002: Dance), who is the founder of the Vuyani Dance Company.
  • Brett Bailey (2001: Theatre) founded and directs the Third World Bunfight Company. He creates employment for artists who tour to festivals across the globe.
  • Aubrey Sekhabi (1998: Theatre) is Artistic Director for the State Theatre.
  • PJ Sabbagha (2005) founded and directs the Forgotten Angle Theatre Company. He has also founded the Embudlweni Artist Residence in Mpumalanga to create bridging opportunities between international and South African choreographers.
  • Jade Bowers (2016: Theatre), who runs her own production company, Jade Bowers Design & Management. Bowers will present Scorched at #NAF16.

In response, Strike posted on Facebook: ‘[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][It’s] impossible to quantify how much this award has meant to so many, giving all of these candidates a particular visibility that has opened both doors and hearts, creating in us the inner drive to give back, nurture, grow other artists.’

Our thanks and respect to Standard Bank, which has sponsored this award for the past 32 years.

About the Standard Bank Young Artist Award

The Standard Bank Young Artist Awards is one of South Africa’s most substantial initiatives that recognises young emerging trailblazers in the arts, many of whom go on to create impressive legacies.

The programme is a partnership between Standard Bank and the National Arts Festival with a shared vision of generating a rich legacy by identifying, honouring and nurturing young and emerging South African artists who have shown exceptional potential in their chosen fields but have not achieved national exposure.

The National Arts Festival committee, an independent body of arts specialists from around the country, is responsible for selecting each year’s winning recipients. Awards are made annually in the categories of Visual Art, Performance Art, Theatre, Dance, Music and Jazz, with an award in the category of Film given when deemed relevant.

Designed to encourage the recipients in the pursuit of their professional careers, a key aspect of the awards is the provision of the necessary funding to create and produce a new work for the forthcoming main Festival programme, thereby guaranteeing the winner exposure to a national audience. A monetary award is also made by Standard Bank to each winner in his or her personal capacity.