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Sunday, August 7, 2011


(The cast of Stable Theatre's "Nkanyezi - The Star", a production which was made possible by Brandhouse Beverages through Welcome Msomi winning the arts category of its Celebrating Strides Awards)

Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) has announced the nominees for the 14th Annual Business Day BASA Awards, supported by Anglo American, which pay tribute to those businesses who are actively making a difference by sponsoring arts and culture events throughout the country.

The record number of entries received this year reflects the growing awareness within the corporate sector both of the inherent value of the arts to society at all levels and of the business argument for supporting the arts. Thousands of people who would not normally be exposed to contemporary works became involved, thanks to initiatives aimed to benefit the broader public.

“As always, we are delighted and excited by the depth and breadth of entries. Whilst the economic climate is challenging both locally and globally, the nominations from all corners of South Africa say something positive about the health of arts sponsorship,” says BASA CEO Michelle Constant.

Says Business Day’s Peter Bruce: “Once again Business Day is delighted to be part of the excitement of the approach of the BASA awards. Business is a natural partner of so many good things in South Africa, and the Arts are no exception. Looking through the list of nominations the range of businesses involved and the projects they are sponsoring is quite awe inspiring. They are expressions of both leadership and humility and we at Business Day are very proud of our association with BASA and Anglo American. I can't wait for the awards evening”.

Pranill Ramchander, Head of Corporate Communication and Branding, Anglo American says: “Supporting the development of arts and culture in host-communities around the world is one of the ways in which Anglo American drives social development in those same communities, delivering on the company’s promise of being a Partner of Choice. Our involvement in the Business Day BASA Awards is part of a vision that sees arts as an indispensable part of South Africa's progress towards being a nation which embraces diversity across all platforms.”

There are a number of KZN arts projects in the awards nominations line-up:

Up for the Innovation Award is Brandhouse Beverages for Stable Theatre. Through its Celebrating Strides Awards, Johnnie Walker® empowered acclaimed actor, writer, producer and entrepreneur, Welcome Msomi, to spark a revival of the Stable Theatre in Durban which saw a tremendous boost in patrons and media exposure. In selecting the theatre as the beneficiary of a R125,000 bursary included in his award, Msomi wished to pay tribute to the theatre venue which played such an important role in his early days as an actor and turn around the flagging fortunes of the venue. It is expected that the partnership will act as a catalyst to inspire a new generation of artists.

Plascon is nominated for The Mary Stainbank Memorial Gallery, Wilderness Foundation. Plascon has been involved with the Wilderness Foundation since 2006. The company is currently sponsoring product for the development of the Mary Stainbank Memorial Gallery in the Wilderness Leadership Schools headquarters in Durban. The gallery – which forms the vocal point of Ndaba Nkulu Heritage Hub – will showcase the work of sculpture Mary Stainbank. It will include an artists’ workshop and provide accommodation for artists in residence.

Up for the First Time Sponsor award are Prosound for The Rainbow Restaurant. The Rainbow in Durban introduced live concerts in 1983 but had to stop last year due to the recession. Prosound came aboard and installed a permanent PA system and “bringing jazz to the people” was back with a regular live music programme.

Among the nominees for the Youth Development Award is Cell C for Durban Music School. Cell C agreed to sponsor the Durban Music School in 2003 and has done so for the past eight years. DMS gives full music bursaries to 350 learners, does outreach programmes in rural communities, has a cultural exchange programme with includes the UK, France and Germany, offers music as a matric subject, employs nine young teachers who trained at the school and achieves consistently high marks in international exams.

The judges for the 2011 BASA Awards are CEO of The Loerie Awards Andrew Human (chairman); media consultant and editor of Destiny Man Kojo Baffoe; Sunday Independent arts critic Mary Corrigall; independent arts consultant Nicky du Plessis; strategist and CEO of Grey Advertising Siza Marutlulle; CEO of the Mastrantonio Group Gianni Mariano; co-founder and co-owner of multi-disciplinary design firm INK Lisebo Mokhesi and Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town and Artistic Director of Siwela Sonke Jay Pather.

The awards are audited by Grant Thornton and will be presented at a gala ceremony in Johannesburg on August 29. For more information call the BASA offices on 011 447 2295 or email or go to