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Saturday, July 2, 2022


Open call outcomes announced for the Arts & Culture Trust Nyoloha Scholarship Programme, proudly supported by Nedbank, Sun City and Sun International.

The opportunity to win a fully paid scholarship to study at a South African arts institution of choice created waves of excitement amongst matriculants, school leavers and budding young arts practitioners when the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Nyoloha Scholarship Programme (NSP), a partnership between ACT, Nedbank Arts Affinity and sponsor Sun International was announced at the end of April 2022.

A total of 89 applications were received from candidates across South Africa with the provincial participation dominated by Gauteng at 34,8%, followed by Eastern Cape at 17,98%, then Western Cape at 14,6% with Kwa-Zulu Natal accounting for 14,61%. The remaining provinces followed with North West at 5,62%, Free State at 4,49%, Mpumalanga at 3, 37%, Limpopo at 3,37% and lastly, Northern Cape 1,1%.

In Sesotho, Nyoloha means 'rise' and the ACT NSP is part of the new ACT strategy to educate, uplift and empower those wishing to make a career in the arts and culture sector. “The ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme, after two years of Covid uncertainty, has filled the ACT team with renewed joy and pride in the immense talent and drive of exceptional youth all over South Africa. The audition process has revealed a hunger and drive from our applicants in vying for a spot on the three-month long training programme with exceptional professional mentors,” says ACT Interim CEO, Jessica Denyschen

“Historically, the Scholarship Programme used to only cater for coaching the 15 finalists and the final gala presentation and exhibition where the winners were announced, this year we are delighted to announce that we are able to mentor up to 60 youths in addition to the finals week coaching and gala event. We remain grateful to our partners for investing in the youth and arts of South Africa,” she added.

The Nyoloha Programme embraces the disciplines of virtual arts, dance, music and theatre.  The bulk of the applicants are from the theatre sector. Held virtually, the audition phase was recently completed. Students who qualify for the Nyoloha Programme will be notified early in July.

The programme gets underway with bi-weekly training commencing on July 9, 2022, and running until mid-September 2022. All the artists who pass the audition round will receive the full three months of professional training and mentorship. Artists will be rated by their mentors on a monthly basis and those performing the best over this three-month period will qualify for one of the 12 finalist spots. An additional three wild cards will be selected at the end of the training in an effort to identify talent that grew over the training period.

The finals week will be held on October 8, 2022, when the winner of the main prize, a fully-paid scholarship to study at an arts institution of their choice in South Africa, will be announced.

“The goal of the ACT Nyoloha scholarship programme is to graduate global citizens in the Arts who not only excel in their artform but who are well prepared for the world of work, which includes self-development, people management, entrepreneurship, marketing and communication skills, to ensure they enjoy a successful and sustainable career,” says Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank. “Professional training and mentorship is essential for this, and that’s why we’ve extended this part of the programme to approximately 60 young people, including the finalists. We wish all the applicants the best of luck.”

Heidi Edson, Group Socioeconomic Development (SED) Specialist at Sun International, adds: “As a key sponsor and founding member of ACT, Sun International is delighted to contribute to their worthy initiative by hosting the final week of the Nyoloha programme and the gala announcement at Sun City. An important pillar of the group’s broader socio-economic development commitment is to uplift youth through education, and we believe that the Nyoloha Programme achieves this. Sun International is a founding member of ACT, and we sponsor their projects on an annual basis. We fully support the growth and development of South Africans through ACTs various programmes and initiatives.”

ACT, together with long-term partner Nedbank and returning partner Sun International, strongly believes in helping to build a better, more educated, more sustainable arts industry in South Africa. The ACT NSP rewards commitment, excellence and growth potential. In addition to the scholarships, it also offers research grants and the creation of an alumni network. #ACTnyoloha  #actstrat #ACTSAtalent #NedbankArtsAffinity

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