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Tuesday, May 10, 2022


The 2nd annual Artfluence Human Rights Festival, presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, opened on May 3, with the gracious announcement by the winners of the Artfluence Human Rights Awards that they would be using their prize monies to pay it forward.

Filmmaker Bev Ditsie said that the prize money she has received would be an injection for the foundation she launched to support emerging filmmakers. Ditsie was awarded the 2022 Artfluence Human Rights Champion Award in recognition of her decades of activism for access and equality.

Ahmed Kathrada Youth Programmes Manager, Irfaan Mangera, said that he would be using his prize money to develop programmes that can assist school teachers in promoting human rights initiatives. Mangera was awarded the 2022 Artfluence Human Rights Youth Activist Award.

The 2022 Artfluence Human Rights Award was presented to veteran poet, novelist and retired journalist Don Mattera in recognition of his several decades of commitment to human rights, activism and community development. A very frail Matera has recently been discharged from hospital and is being cared for at his home. The Don Matera Foundation will continue to build on his legacy.

“Our winners are more than just activists, champions, and advocates for human rights. They are also selfless moral leaders who believe in paying it forward so that others can continue to benefit from their reputable legacies. They represent the kind of moral leadership desperately needed in South Africa where corruption and criminality have tainted the characters of many of our political leadership”, said Ismail Mahomed, the Director of the Centre for Creative Arts.

The 2nd annual Artfluence Human Rights Festival was not only launched online but also live from the Mandela Capture Site in the uMngeni Municipal District. The site for the festival commemorates the 60th anniversary this year when Nelson Mandela was captured by the apartheid State.

“Sixty years ago, Nelson Mandela was captured. Sixty years later, the State that he fought to liberate has been captured,” said Yusrah Bardien, the online programme's curator of the Festival.

This year’s festival is presented as a hybrid festival with both a series of online and live events. The Live in uMngeni programme presented at the Capture Site consists of multi-media exhibitions, a jazz concert, dance performances, film screenings, comedy, and art workshops. The Live in uMngeni programme opened with the exhibition uMongo Msindo.

uMongo Msindo aims to commemorate, showcase and bring the story of some of the unique musical heritage of KZN to life. It is a multi-fold undertaking that is in equal parts archival and exhibitionary. It invites audiences and custodians of age-old music traditions on a sojourn of music-making and consumption, with a particular focus on the relationship between player and instrument. Both entities conjoin to form a vessel that transmits sound, heritage and frequencies.

Speaking on behalf of the uMngeni Municipality, Councillor Chris Pappas said: “artists help us understand where we come from and where we are going”. He added that the Capture Site was a significant heritage site that can play a vital role in heritage education and boost the uMngeni Municipality's cultural economy.

The 2022 Festival is supported by the uMngeni Municipality and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The festival is presented in partnership with uMngeni Tourism and the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. The Festival closed on May 8 but the entire online and Live in uMngeni programme is available at and the festival can be followed on social media @artfluencefest