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Monday, May 20, 2024


In celebration of artistic resistance, The Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal announced South African theatre stalwarts, and founders of the Sibikwa Arts Centre, Phyllis Klotz and Smal Ndaba, as joint recipients of the 4th annual Artfluence Human Rights Award, during the six-day festival that took place from May 3 to 8 in Durban.

Ismail Mahomed, the Director of the Centre for Creative Arts, said: “For nearly half a century, Smal Ndaba and Phyllis Klotz have been at the forefront of producing original theatre productions that courageously confront social injustices. Their collaborative efforts have created an important historical archive, showcasing how culture has contributed to South Africa’s liberation struggle. Their post-apartheid work continues to make a dynamic contribution by building a critical and engaged citizenry. This work celebrates the vital role the arts play in strengthening South Africa’s constitutional democracy”.

The 2024 Artfluence Youth Activism Human Rights Award was presented to cultural curator, arts coordinator and writer, Faye Kabali-Kagwa. In 2023, Faye was the curator for the Cradle of Creativity Festival which took place in Johannesburg and featured 27 productions from South Africa and abroad. In her work with ASSITEJ South Africa, she runs the Unlocking Learners’ Creativity project in the Western Cape, as well as heading the 10 Children project, amongst others. In 2021, she was recognised as one of 200 Young Influential South Africans by the Mail & Guardian.

“Faye Kabali-Kagwa is a dynamic and visionary young creative, curator and writer,” says Siphindile Hlongwa, the co-curator of the Artfluence Human Rights Festival. “Her passion for creating safe spaces for children and her visionary curation of the 2023 Cradle of Creativity position her as an influential young artist. Her commitment to human rights and social justice makes her an inspiring young leader.”

The weeklong exploration that took place in Durban examined the power of art as a defender of social justice and human rights and offered a whole new experience for festival participants. Structured as a six-day residency with intense roundtable discussions, site visits and performances, festival delegates were able to fully immerse themselves in the festival experience and engage with the complex issues about human rights and social justice. The festival’s partnership with the African Festival Network offered invaluable opportunities for exploring cross-border collaborations for the future.

Mahomed adds: “Our recipients of the Human Rights Award, joint winners Phyllis Klotz and Smal Ndaba, and the winner of the Youth Activism Award, Faye Kabali-Kabwa demonstrated that festivals can be dynamic platforms for cross-generational and intra-generational dialogue.”


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