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Monday, June 9, 2014


(Stable Theatre)

An exciting arts development programme titled Trendsetters is underway at Durban’s busy Stable Theatre.

Funded by the National Department of Arts and Culture, this year-long skills-transfer pilot project, now into its fifth month, involves nine students working together under the guidance of a seasoned facilitator, the noted entertainment law practitioner, Johnny Dimba.

Trendsetters will follow a three-tiered schedule over the coming months. Featured on June 13 will be the following presentations: (Admission to both events is free)

10h00: Youth dialogue programme, titled Arts, Culture, Heritage Into Socio Economic Development).
13h00: A freshly-conceived new musical theatre production titled Amanzi Amnyama (Black Water) of 45 minutes duration

A Trendsetters beautification outreach project will follow in September 2014, when a public space to be identified will be upgraded by the nine Trendsetters involved in the programme as an exercise in encouraging responsible citizenship.

“We salute the National Department of Arts and Culture for its faith in backing the Trendsetters project,” says Stable Theatre Manager, Thanduxolo Zulu. “NDAC’s foresight in this regard has enabled Stable Theatre to play an active role in strengthening South Africa’s Arts industry through this invaluable skills transfer facility.”

Thanduxolo Zulu’s enthusiasm is shared by facilitator Johnny Dimba, an expert in the field of intellectual property who has served on advisory panels to more than one national minister of Arts and Culture.

Dimba nurtures a passion for equipping aspirant arts practitioners with the skills needed to run their own careers successfully. “South African artists need not buy into the perception that a career in the arts will inevitably lead to their being exploited, abused and poor in material terms,” he says. “We can reverse this situation by building a culture of self-empowerment. While formal tertiary education furnishes young people with degrees and diplomas in performance arts, there are still glaring gaps to fill. We need to ensure young people have a practical grasp of the arts environment on the ground, so that they can operate as competent entertainment law technicians.”

He cites practical areas to be covered in order for trainees to attain independence and self-reliance in building successful careers. These include: knowing how to draw up a legally binding contract; gaining a sound grasp of copyright law; building language and media communication skills; and coming to terms with sound arts administration practice.

Eight successful Trendsetter applicants were selected in response to advertisements inviting youth and young adults aged between 18 and 35 with matric as a minimum qualification to submit their cv’s. They are Sizwe Nzimande (Group Leader), Sibusiso Mbanjwa, Thobile Mngadi, Senzo Zikalala, Sqiniseko Khumalo, Zandile Kunene, Ntuthuko Ndlovu, Zama Ngema and Andisiwe Silangwe.

In support of its Trendsetter’s project, Stable Theatre has also secured the involvement in an advisory capacity of retired Ukhozi FM presenter and show business veteran, Eric Ngcobo. Working with the team, which also includes junior facilitator Remember Hlongwane, he will help oversee the Trendsetter theatre production. Centring on the themes of Nation Building and Hope, the production is being workshopped by the project participants with strong input from group leader, Sizwe Nzimande, a DUT performance studies graduate.

A graduation ceremony will be held at the conclusion of the Trendsetters programme early next year. For enquiries about this and other exciting projects happening at Stable Theatre, log onto Alternatively call 031 309 2513, or email

With easy access off the N3 Warwick Triangle flyover, Stable Theatre is situated at 115 Johannes Nkosi Street (formerly Alice Street), and is supported by the KZN Department of Arts and Culture, Ethekwini Municipality, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the National Arts Council and the KZN Performing Arts Trust.