Arts & Culture Trust announces 15 ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme finalists



Arts & Culture Trust announces 15 ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme finalists, proudly supported by Nedbank, Sun International, and Business and Arts South Africa. 


After 3 months of intense online training and mentorship, the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is thrilled to reveal the names of the 15 exceptional finalists who will compete in the final events of the annual ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme (NSP). These significant events celebrate and support the talent of both young visual and performing artists from across South Africa.


The ACT NSP is an annual partnership between ACT, the Nedbank Arts Affinity, and sponsors, Sun International and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), offering matriculants, school-leavers, and budding arts practitioners the opportunity to win a fully paid undergraduate scholarship worth R350 000 to study at a South African arts institution of their choice. 


This year’s iteration of the programme saw 68 participants being shortlisted to participate in the programme nationally. The programme started on 10 June, with bi-weekly online professional training and mentorship taking place over 3 months until mid-August 2023. Performing artists (singers, dancers, and actors) as well as digital or visual artists were rated by their mentors every month, and those who performed the best over the 3-month period have now qualified for 1 of 15 finalist spots. The names of the qualifying finalists in each of the arts disciplines are as follows: 


Performing arts finalists

Asiphumeze Stuurman (Western Cape), Bonoko Khoda (Gauteng), Lindiwe Ngwenya (Gauteng), Mthobisi Khanyile (Gauteng), Naledi Lebelo (Free State), Nicole Retief (Western Cape), Nonjabulo Khubeka (Gauteng), Nsizwazakithi Mvubelo (Gauteng), Thato Segodi (Gauteng), and Tintswalo Mahlakolisane (Gauteng).


Visual/digital arts finalists

Azanda Nyangintsimbi (Gauteng), Lauren Wood (KwaZulu-Natal), Rethabile Weevirs (North West), Siphesihle Hlatshwayo (Gauteng), Thabang Makgakwe (Limpopo). 


The final week of the ACT NSP starts on 2 October and includes various exciting activities for the finalists, including masterclasses with industry experts and site visits to esteemed arts institutions in Johannesburg. This will be a lead-up to a 2-week visual arts exhibition at the MTN Innovation Centre in Johannesburg, opening on 5 October. Finally, the ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme concludes with a glitzy gala night featuring a performance showcase by the finalists on 7 October at the Joburg Theatre, where the 2 winners of a visual arts and performing arts scholarship up to the value of R350 000 each will be announced. 


‘The ACT NSP is dedicated to fostering the growth and development of South Africa's young, vibrant and artistic talents, whose ambition it is to follow a career in the arts and culture sector,’ says ACT Chief Executive Officer, Jessica Denyschen. ‘With the scholarship finals week we aim to provide a platform for emerging artists to showcase their craft, connect with industry leaders, and gain exposure that can launch their careers. We are incredibly excited to witness this year’s emerging talents from diverse backgrounds showcasing their work, and we encourage the public to join us on this incredible journey as ticket details will be announced soon.’ 


‘The talent, courage, commitment, and growth of these 15 finalists, representing dance, visual arts, drama, music, singing and performance, has made us even more proud to be South African', says Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank. 'They have been selected from 68 participants in the mentorship programme, and even though there can be only 2 winners of the fully paid scholarships – one in the performing arts and one in the visual or digital arts  we congratulate each finalist, and every one of the 68 participants. They have excelled and grown remarkably over the past few months of mentorship, and we urge them to pursue their art ambitions, dreams and careers. We wish them the very best.’


Heidi Edson, Group Socioeconomic Development (SED) Specialist at Sun International says that they are delighted to be a partner of the ACT NSP. 'We wholeheartedly endorse the impactful work undertaken by the ACT as they pave the way for brighter futures by creating a platform for the education and skills development of young talent in the arts and culture sector. Through the ACT NSP, young participants will also receive life lessons that are instrumental to setting them on a trajectory for a long and sustainable career in the arts and culture sector.’


ACT, together with long-term partner Nedbank and returning partners Sun International and BASA, strongly believes in helping to build a better, more educated, sustainable arts industry in South Africa. We also thank the MTN Foundation for their generous contribution of the visual arts exhibition space and additional spot prizes at the gala event on 7 October.  


Over 29 years of arts support – Arts & Culture Trust 

The ACT is South Africa’s premier independent arts development and investment organisation. Its focus 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, management, education as well as administration. For more information, please visit the ACT website, follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page.


About Nedbank 

In partnership with the ACT, the Nedbank Arts Affinity has donated more than R28 million to support over 830 arts, culture and heritage development projects countrywide. If you want 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 Nedbank Money app, visit any Nedbank branch, call 0860 555 111 or visit


About Business and Arts South Africa 

Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA) was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative between government and the private sector as part of a strategy to secure greater involvement in the arts and from businesses operating in South Africa. Constituted in terms of the Companies Act, 71 of 2008, BASA is registered as a public benefit organisation and champions business investment within the arts, cultural and heritage sector, driving focused and sustained partnerships by unlocking shared value and fostering social cohesion. For more information, please go to


About Sun International

The Sun International brand has a proud legacy in the gaming, hospitality, conferencing, leisure and entertainment sectors. Sun International’s iconic properties, such as the world-famous Palace of The Lost City Hotel at Sun City and the magnificent Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town situated on the water’s edge of the V&A Waterfront, have become synonymous with luxury, comfort and outstanding service, firmly establishing the group’s position as an internationally recognised premium brand.


Sun International's diverse South African property portfolio includes 15 hotels, 2 premier resorts and 11 well-located casinos – all of which offer modern, fully equipped conferencing and banqueting facilities, while the Sun Vacation Club at Sun City is a leading timeshare model in the country.


The group is also the local industry leader in online gaming. Thanks to the latest global technology, betting through its SunBet platform, Sun International also offers the most innovative and exciting online betting experience available.


The group has also set the standard for hosting events, and their world-class arenas remain the preferred venues for international events and shows. The 3 championship golf courses at the Sun City and Wild Coast Sun resorts regularly host large-scale golfing tournaments, including the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City, which is now part of the European Tour.


Whatever the activity, Sun International's properties and facilities offer a quality experience supported by authentic personal service. Sun International Most Values Guests are rewarded with exclusive offers and preferential rates through the MVG loyalty programme, designed exclusively for Sun International gaming patrons.


In February 2021 Sun International joined the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), which is the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands and operator of an award-winning, multi-brand loyalty programme called 'Discovery'. Through GHA Sun International can now participate in a network with 17 million members that operates in 85 countries.


Sustainability and community involvement form an integral part of the group’s corporate culture. Through collaborative partnerships with government and local business, Sun International’s SED and environmental initiatives ensure that scarce environmental resources are never wasted, and the group is committed to providing ongoing and meaningful support to vulnerable communities throughout South Africa.


In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, a comprehensive Covid-19 policy and health plan were implemented across all business units to safeguard the safety of guests, employees and concessionaires. In November 2020 Sun International received an award from The Institute of Risk Management South Africa in recognition of the extensive and world-standard Covid-19 controls introduced across all of its hotel and casino properties. Sun International is also a recipient of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s global Safe Travels Stamp of approval. is an award-winning Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising Company est. 2015, is a Member of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA), and Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Ambassadors, with a global reach of over 10 million

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