UMKHUMBANE HOME OF ARTS
By: Nokwanda Gcaba
Umkhumbane is the birth place of many South African legendary artists.
It is an area characterized by its artistic and vibrant community life as it’s for the harsh realities of high unemployment rate and social dysfunctionality.
The area is faced by a lot of social infringements that include informal settlements, illegal electricity connections, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and child headed homes. It may seem
as a hopeless place, but in reality it is a place that young people regard as the home of arts.
The youth in the community take initiatives in developing the area as there are lot of organisations and community participation.
Iziko lamaciko aseMkhumbune is a familiar name in the community as it is well-known for its ability to groom young people to become artists.
This organisation was founded by Xolani Sibiya and Nonhle Mkhize who wanted to influence the youth through arts and to change the stereotypes that black people have about
“Umkhumbane has a rich history of arts. The late musician Sipho Gumede is from this area.
The motive behind opening this organisation was to show people that not everyone was
meant to be employed but one can use his talent to earn a living. I am an example of a person who is earning a living through arts,” said Sibiya.
This organisation is home to more than 50 artists who are trained in various art forms that include poetry, dramatic art, music and comedy. Artists are trained four days a week and perform before an audience on Fridays, in sessions hosted by organisation.
“This organisation serves to groom aspiring artists and to help keep them away from the streets. As an artist, seeing other artists perform motivates me to continue to work hard,” said
An artist under the organisation, Sphamandla Tsunami Ndlovu, said that training serves to equip artists about what is happening around the globe and to incorporate all art forms to
express how they feel about certain matters.
“It is a platform where artists are prepared for the industry, it serves as a training centre where our talent is being polished and nourished,” said Ndlovu.
Artists who know more about art come to sessions to share their knowledge to young artist.
Sbonele Luthili makes a living with his paintings and hand crafts. He sees it as a platform where young artist can get knowledge.
“There are many young people who were sitting at home doing nothing.
This organisation have helped those young people, not only to discover their talent but also to give them knowledge about the art industry,” he added.
The youth from Umkhumbane has used arts as an escape route from the harsh realities, they are determined to change the living conditions within the area using their talents.