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Thursday, August 12, 2021


Deadline for Cycle 1: North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga - 
September 3, 2021

Thuthukisani is an Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) programme supported by Nedbank to empower a selected group of artists to complete their chosen projects in a professional way. A total of 63 successful applicants, seven from each province in South Africa, will get this training. After thorough training and mentorship, some participants will then pitch their projects for the opportunity to receive monetary investment.

The name of the programme, Thuthukisani, is a call to action taken from the Zulu word “thuthukisa” (a verb), meaning to develop.

The rollout of the programme will take place in three cycles, inviting applications from three provinces per cycle, and seven Thuthukisani participants will be selected per province. After the training, three projects per province will receive a cash investment and ongoing mentorship for the artist throughout the implementation of the project. Artists from the specified provinces for cycle one can apply for the Thuthukisani programme from August 10 to September 3, 2021.

ACT CEO Marcus Desando says: “No one organisation can solve the problems in the arts and culture sector – it takes a village – and the majority of the existing organisations are doing their very best to address what they understand to be the immediate needs of their stakeholders.

“As the Trust, we have radically shifted our focus and role in the industry from that of a grant maker to that of an organisation deeply invested in offering practical, implementable skills to our stakeholders, focusing on the long-term trajectory of the living experience of artists, practitioners and creatives as entrepreneurs. Grants form an important part of the funding landscape but, over the years, many individuals and companies have derailed due to grant dependence and shrinking budgets. Thuthukisani addresses the lack of capacity and opportunity for small-to-medium creative practitioners to develop new projects with mentorship, training and investment towards a sustained participation in the creative economy.”

Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, says: “As we are a bank that prides itself on seeing money differently, the Thuthukisani programme reflects Nedbank’s ethos perfectly. The programme goes beyond awarding money grants for projects, which are important but don’t always result in the watering of the initiative’s roots to grow and become an arts enterprise with a future, empowered with the entrepreneurial know-how to operate, evolve and self-sustain. The pandemic has revealed that this as an imperative.'

This programme requires a significant commitment in terms of time and effort and is a business development course. Selected applicants will need discipline and excellent communication skills and will be required to work with their mentor to develop their business plan. Acceptance into the programme does not guarantee monetary investment.


Details for Thuthukisani cycle 1 applications:

Provinces that may apply*: North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga

Applications open: August 10, 2021

Applications close: September 3, 2021

Outcomes: October 4, 2021

Online application:


Important: Only seven applications per province for cycle 1 will be selected.

* Applicants from the remaining provinces will be invited to apply in cycle 2 and 3.

Only South African nationals may apply and projects must take place in South Africa. The allocation of programme slots is at the discretion of the ACT board of trustees. The decision about all applications for participation is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Representing over 27 years of arts funding, ACT is South Africa’s premier independent development and arts funding organisation. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the capacity for arts and culture initiatives to create sustainable futures, through development and investment in innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured development programmes, ACT provides support to all expressions of arts and culture, including literature, music, visual art, theatre and dance, and the support extends to festivals, community arts initiatives, arts management, arts education and arts administration. For more information visit the Trust’s website. Follow ACT on Twitter or like the ACT’s Facebook page.

In partnership with the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT), the Nedbank Arts Affinity has donated more than R25 million to support over 800 arts, culture and heritage development projects countrywide. If you would like to make a difference to the lives of talented young artists in South Africa, simply link your Nedbank Greenbacks to the Arts Affinity and Nedbank will donate money to ACT, at no cost to you. The Arts Affinity currently supports the ACT Thuthukisani programme and the ACT Tlholo Project. For more information download the Greenbacks app, visit any Nedbank branch, call us on 0860 555 111 or visit

To link direct to the Arts & Culture Trust’s site, click on the ACT logo to the right of this article or visit