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Friday, October 14, 2016


(ACT Scholarship recipients: Tamzin Williams, Virtuous Kandemiiri & Robin Castle. Pic by John Hogg)

Johannesburg’s iconic Market Theatre was abuzz both on and off the stage on Monday when performing arts matriculants were granted Scholarships to pursue their dreams at tertiary level.

Six triple-threat scholars acted, danced and sang their way through the finals and all walked away with funding from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), supported by the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Organisation (DALRO) and the Nedbank Arts Affinity.

After a demanding week of rehearsals at the hands of a talented creative team and a tough final round in front of a live audience, Virtuous Kandemiiri from Gauteng was awarded the first prize Scholarship of R105,000, while Tamzin Williams of the Western Cape won a Scholarship worth R54,000, and Robin Castle from the Eastern Cape walked away with R40,000. The runners-up: Thandaza Silwane (KwaZulu-Natal), Sibusiso Nhlapo (Gauteng) and Jeani Heyns (Western Cape) also received funding to help kick-start their tertiary education.

“While this was a massive highlight and a wonderful end to a long process, it is merely the beginning,” says ACT CEO, Pieter Jacobs. “The real work starts now and the Arts & Culture Trust looks forward to supporting and mentoring these exceptional young performers while they prepare to enter the industry.”

Now in its eighth year, the ACT Scholarship Programme searched the country for the six candidates. Once selected, each of the matric pupils were then coached by a dedicated team of professionals, before putting their best foot forward in front of an illustrious panel of judges, and – possibly the biggest critics of all – a live audience. 

The judges were Talent-ETC director and award-winning producer, Jennis Williamson; multiple award-winning local and international star of the stage and screen, Terence Bridgett; actress, singer and cabaret artist, Kate Normington; SAMA winning vocalist, producer and composer, Gloria Bosman; and creative catalyst and consultant, Brenda Sakellarides.

The show was hosted by Lindelwa Nkosi who hails from KwaZulu-Natal and clinched the coveted role of emcee after auditioning for ACT as part of their country-wide talent search. A classically trained musician and presenter, she guided the evening with flair and professionalism, a performance that also marks her as a personality to watch!

(This information is published on the Arts & Culture Trust’s blog – see