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Saturday, November 18, 2017


(Libraries & Heritage Dept Senior manager Tebogo Mzizi, City Manager Sipho Nzuza, Chairperson of Community Services Committee Zama Sokhabase, MEC Sihle Zikakala, Mayor Zandile Gumede, Zainub Dala & Consul General of America, Sherry Sykes)

As a UNESCO City of Literature, Durban is committed to building a welcoming and co-operative network that reflects the diversity and richness of the world’s languages and literatures. This was the commitment made by Mayor Zandile Gumede at the celebration ceremony and official announcement that Durban is a UNESCO City of Literature, a title bestowed upon the City by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Mayor Gumede said that the UNESCO Cities of Literature is a global network of cities who specialise in the literary arts. “We are now part of that family and network. The UNESCO City of Literature recognises excellence and places an obligation on us to nurture and support art form and collaborate internationally by sharing best practice, supporting freedom of speech and through projects which ensure that literature reaches as wide and diverse an audience as possible, locally and internationally. We are indeed excited to be part of the network.”

The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, also expressed his excitement at the announcement. He emphasised that the accolade did not only belong to Durban and KwaZulu-Natal, but the African continent as a whole. “Beyond joining the likes of Manchester; Milan and Seattle as citadels for literary excellence, we consider this accolade as an omen for the inclusion of yet more African cities in a list that is, by and large, still dominated by European cities.” Zikalala also acknowledged the important contribution made by the written word in documenting, decolonising and immortalising authentic African stories and experiences.

The Consul General of America, Sherry Sykes commended the City for its commitment to promoting arts, culture and literacy through various programmes. “Having creative hubs such as the Bat Centre, Playhouse and Durban Art Gallery in one precinct is what makes Durban unique from other cities and that is why the City deserved this recognition,” she said.

Durban is the first City in Africa to have the prestigious title bestowed upon them. The award follows a year-long process of drawing up the bid documents and consulting stakeholders NGO's, private organisations, the business sector, writers, poets, writer Organisations and the academic fraternity after the application was made to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Some of the benefits of the title include;

•International recognition for Durban as a Literary City which will attract creative individuals to live and work in the City.

•Cultural exchange which will enrich Durban’s literary and cultural life as well as provide exposure to international talent.

•The Literary City status will assist marketing of Durban as a tourist destination and has potential to increase the tourism base.

•Cultural exchange potential through the network will enrich Durban’s literary and cultural life.

•Durban has a racial mix that is representative of the whole country as we have writers from all racial groups and is therefore well positioned to promote the diversity of writing that exists.

•The Literary City status will help to economically sustain and develop the writing and book related industries in Durban.

•Membership of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network will lay the foundation for future collaborations, partnerships, events, programmes and projects pertaining to the ongoing development of Durban as a Literary City.


(Magozane Khuzwayo, Umtshebhe (Necklace). Glass bead & fibre, width 15.8 cm)

Well worth a visit. (Review by Janet Whelan)

November 12, 2017, heralded the start of an exhibition, The Secrets of Beads Imfihlo Yobuhlalu, at the Durban Art Gallery.

The exhibition was opened by the curators, Anthea Martin and Hlengiwe Dube. Thereafter, Hlengiwe conducted a very informative tour of the items on display, explaining the meaning of the different colours and colour combinations. She also offered some detail on the uses and meanings of various items themselves.

Dr M Mduduzi Xakaza, in his forward to the catalogue, states “beadwork has always been used not only as communication tool but also as a currency of trade” by the Zulu community and that “beadwork played a role in the definition of social prestige and hierarchy.”

Today beadwork is worn mainly for decoration, but originally it was worn to indicate marital status and on special occasions such as weddings, funerals and coming of age ceremonies. Beadwork was also used in courtship and the love letter (umgexo) frequently contained a personal secret message known only to the lovers.

The exhibition is divided into sections containing horn and love letter necklaces, belts, aprons, body decorations, beaded dolls from the different regions and including fertility dolls, soft sculptures and pot covers. There is also a section on necklaces for men and women using traditional colour arrangements.

The exhibition runs at the Durban Art Gallery until April 29, 2018, and is well worth a visit.

The Durban Art Gallery is situated on the second floor of the Durban City Hall, entrance in Anton Lembede (formerly Smith) Street opposite the Playhouse. More information on 031 311 2262/6. - Janet Whelan

Friday, November 17, 2017


Deadline: November 30, 2017

The Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) has a vacancy for a Senior Licensing Consultant: Dalro Theatricals & General Licensing in its Theatricals Rights Department. Please note that the closing date for applications is November 30 2017.

The purpose of the role is to provide full licensing and administrative services in the theatricals rights department. The role requires negotiating and issuing correct licence agreements to amateur and professional dramatic societies; liaising with rights-holders and international agents to acquire repertoire and permissions; providing a full-contact support service to licensees by being the first point of contact and ensuring that all licensing requirements and support are given to licensees, including the provision of materials.

Reporting to the Supervisor: Theatricals the ideal candidate will be a person who has completed a post-matric qualification, preferably a BA degree in drama, literature or visual arts and has at least three years related and relevant experience. A good understanding of copyright and contracts is required along with a lively interest in theatre, literature, drama and art.

Key Performance areas:

•Identifying and offering the correct licensing options for specific products;
•Negotiating terms & conditions with professional producers/licensees in liaison with international agents;
•Tracking all professional licences to ensure that agreements are adhered to;
•High-level stakeholder engagement – rights-holders and licensees;
•Adherence to DALRO’s administrative processes and ensuring that all licensing supporting documentation is issued timeously and correctly;
•Play a supportive and advisory role to the Supervisor in acquiring new repertoire and expanding on the licensing base; and
•Control of all Sales and Hire Materials inclusive of DALRO supplied merchandise, ensuring that stock is available and in good order.

Minimum requirements:

•Post- matric qualification in Drama, Literature or Fine Art, preferably a BA Degree or BA(Hons.);
•Knowledge of Copyright, especially where it pertains to public performance and broadcast in dramatic/literary works, and reproduction of artistic/literary works is a requirement;
•Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and at least one other African language is an advantage;
•A valid drivers’ licence and willingness to travel;
•At least three years related and relevant working experience;
•Industry knowledge, experience and an existing network within the industry would be an advantage; and
•Product knowledge (plays & musicals) both local and international is essential.
Core Competencies:

•Attention to detail;
•Analytical ability;
•Numeracy skills;
•Proficiency in all Microsoft Office products (especially, Excel, Word, PowerPoint);
•Good interpersonal skills (including email/telephone etiquette and face-to-face);
•Persuasive ability;
•Customer Service focused;
•Team player & ability to work independently;
•Initiative to expand the business;
•Innovative thinking

If you are confident that you have the necessary qualification and experience to perform the above mentioned duties, forward your CV (stating which position you are applying for) to

Closing Date: 30th November 2017

All positions will be filled in accordance with our Employment Equity policy. Should you not receive any feedback in the next two weeks, please consider that your application has been unsuccessful.


This evening (November 17), the 20th annual Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Awards, ACT will introduce the four ImpACT Award finalists.

Traditionally, ACT awards the ImpACT Award to South African creatives under 30 years of age who have made a notable impact to their respective industry. Nominations are collected from the general public and the finalists are selected by The ACT board of trustees.

By holding an event that not only honours Lifetime contributions to the arts and culture industry but also acknowledges the careers of young creatives – ACT continues to inspire and promote the arts in South Africa. “We at the Arts and Culture Trust feel that it is important to recognise the achievements of young creatives and their potential to uplift the industry” says ACT Awards Project Manager Jessica Glendinning.

The 2017 finalists for the ImpACT award are:

Thabiso Mofokeng (Literature)
Thabiso is a self-made Sesotho language practitioner and founder of Mosa Media and Book distributors. He is best known for his promotion of young writers, literacy and African language publications. He is currently studying towards a PhD in English at the University of the Western Cape, is the 2016/2017 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award Finalist and was named as a Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans in 2017.

Elvis Sibeko (Dance)
Elvis is a professional dancer who has studied at Jazzart and Tribhangi Dance Theatre where he has mastered Contemporary Classical, Ballet, Tap Dance, Indian Dance, Choreography and Theatre Craft. He has been nominated for the FNB Vita Dance Umbrella’s most promising dancer, awarded a bursary at Jazzart and has choreographed many local and international dance festivals and Umbrellas. He runs a community development dance programme and is co-founder of an NPO organisation called Black Roots Foundation.

Sello Ramosepele (Arts Administration)
Sello works in the arts, public relations and digital media / marketing sphere where he uses his skills to collaborate with well-known South African brands and create platforms for disadvantaged young people to showcase their talents. One such example was the 2016 Inaugural South African Music Marathon. Sello is also a commited arts administration mentor and has mentored more than 20 young professionals. He has worked alongside The National Arts Council and other arts organisations.

Byron Klaasen (Dance)
Bryon is a dance practitioner who has trained extensively in the Northern and Western Cape. In 2011 he was invited to New York to train with the Cedar Lake Dance Company and Peridance Contemporary Company. Upon returning to South Africa he created the production Dansmettieduiwels for The Dance Umbrella and participated in the Dance Umbrella Young Choreographers Residency.  Since then, he has choreographed over ten productions for local and national festivals and regularly works alongside Alfred Hinkel to promote dance through creative teaching methodologies.

This year ACT celebrates its 20th anniversary of the Awards by ‘celebrating South African Legends’. Guests will be treated to an evening of glitz, glamour and inspiring stories by the cream of South African arts and culture crop. The Awards evening will be hosted at The Maslow Hotel in Sandton tonight (November 17 2017) and features the ImpACT award announcement alongside the interviews with the Lifetime Achievement Winners and entertainment by Lira.

For more information about the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) visit and use the hashtag #ACT20AWARDS across all social media channels.