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Monday, August 24, 2009


KZN’s Sibongisene Shezi among the finalists for the ACT | DALRO Performing Arts Scholarship for 2009.

Sibongisene Shezi, a talented, vibrant, hardworking Grade 12 learner and Deputy Head girl at the Holy Family College in KZN is among the finalists for the ACT | DALRO Performing Arts Scholarship for 2009. Having performed in Annie, Sibongisene is a member of the KZN Youth Ballet Company and received the Most Outstanding Student Trophy (Dance). This top drama student “never fails to produce excellent work and performances”, says her dramatic arts educator. “She is a wonderful dancer, singer and performer who sets the stage alight”.

Grade 12 learners from across the country auditioned for a place in the finals of the scholarship presented by The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO). Regional rounds were conducted in Gauteng, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. A national round also took place in Grahamstown as part of the South African National Schools’ Festival.

“It was a great privilege to encounter so many passionate young artists, “said Brenda Devar, ACT Chairperson, after the regional auditions. “We found the majority to be articulate, goal- orientated and ready to use their creative voice to make a difference; it was not an easy choice to make. I celebrate all the learners who auditioned, I salute them for their effort and their passion which will doubtlessly serve them well as they define and make their way into the creative industries.”

The annual scholarship, with a total value of R75,000, will be awarded to one exceptional individual to study all the disciplines associated with the performing arts at an accredited South African tertiary institution of the winner’s choice. In addition to the first prize, five runners-up will receive Nedbank Arts Affinity Investment accounts with a R4,000 fixed deposit in each, sponsored by Nedbank and DALRO, as well as a R1 000 book voucher and book hamper from Exclusive Books.

"We are delighted that the Scholarship Competition has reached this advanced stage and thank the organisers, ACT, and the adjudicators, for their sterling efforts in distilling the entrants down to six extraordinary talents. We now look forward to a thrilling final round which will not only showcase the talents of six future stars, but also identify the Scholarship winner,” Gérard Robinson, the Executive Director of DALRO, said.

The finalists are Sipho Hlongwane (Eastern Cape); Courtney Leshay Smith and Steve Paul Norman (Matroosfontein, Cape Town), Kgomotso Mthembu (Diepkloof, Soweto) and Sven Ruygrok (Johannesburg)

The finalists will present prepared pieces comprising acting, singing and dancing as well as three group numbers, directed and choreographed by professionals, at the final round and awards ceremony which will take place at The Globe Theatre, Gold Reef City on September 29.