The Arts & Culture Trust announces the ACT | Nedbank Professional Development Grants in Music winners


Amid the chaos and uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is delighted to bring some joy and opportunity to the successful applicants of the ACT | Nedbank Professional Development Grants in Music. It has been an exceptionally difficult and challenging year for artists and arts organisations and the trust feels humbled to offer assistance in some way towards the professional development of new artistic works.


In 2018 the ACT Professional Development Programme supported projects in the fields of visual art and dance, followed by literature in 2019, and theatre at the beginning of 2020. For this grant cycle of 2020 the ACT looked for projects with a focus on music and encouraged applications for interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary works that have music as a core component.


The six-week open call period for the ACT | Nedbank Professional Development Grants in Music resulted in exciting and high-quality applications and it has been a pleasure and a challenge for the trustees to make the final selection.


ACT would like to congratulate the successful candidates in the two categories:


Established grants

  • Imbila and other African Tales, Bongani Ndodana-Breen for Africa Arts Group NPC Johannesburg, Gauteng
  • The Digital Indaba 2020-2021, Camron Andrews for NewMusicSA

Digitally, across South Africa

  • Lockdown Legato, Jana Hattingh for Suidoosterfees

Cape Town, Western Cape


Emerging grants

  • A Life of Our Own Design EP, Lulutho Ngcongolo for Zwelibanzi Productions (Pty) Ltd

Johannesburg/East London, Gauteng/Eastern Cape

  • Lwando Sessions, Samantha Bekebeke

Woodstock, Western Cape

  • Meet The Musicians, Rory Appleton for Sledgehammer Studio

Cape Town, Western Cape

  • Hlakanyana Music Development, Zolani Shangase for Madevu Entertainment

Johannesburg, Gauteng

  • uMakhweyana (A dying artform), Mthokozisi S’thembiso Hlela for Duduza Media (Pty) Ltd

Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

  • Udaka we Lali, Ludwe Mgolombane

Peddie, Eastern Cape


A total of nine grants were awarded for this open call; six grants for emerging or mid-level artists and organisations at R30 000 each, and three grants for established artists and organisations, at R80 000 each.


ACT CEO Marcus Desando says, ‘It is especially important in these times of national lockdowns, with the scary and desperate period of the Covid-19 pandemic, and especially for arts and culture practitioners, that we at the ACT are able to continue with the investment in the creation of artistic expression in South Africa. I would like to thank all the applicants, whether successful or not, and ask that we all keep safe and well’.


The ACT Professional Development Programme has been helping South African artists for 25 years with the support of the Nedbank Arts Affinity. It has helped over 800 organisations and projects nationwide, with a total of more than R23 million. ‘Artists need the support of organisations and businesses and we are most appreciative of the ongoing support we receive from Nedbank,’ says Desando.


Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, says, ‘Music has the power to fill us with courage, hope and love, which we need more than ever during this protracted pandemic. It is so fitting that works of music are the focus of this grant cycle and we warmly congratulate the nine recipients. We look forward to seeing what you will create and to be experiencing this celebration of music from throughout South Africa.’




Stay safe and practise social solidarity and physical distancing.

Together we will rise!





Notes to editors

Over 25 years of arts funding

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the amount of funding available for arts and culture initiatives, and to apply these funds to innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured funding programmes the 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, arts management, arts education and arts administration. For more information please visit the trust’s website. Follow the ACT on Twitter or like the ACT Facebook page.


About Nedbank

In partnership with the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT), the Nedbank Arts Affinity has donated more than R23 million to support over 800 arts, culture and heritage development projects countrywide. If you would like 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 funds to ACT, at no cost to you. The Arts Affinity currently supports the ACT Development Programme and the annual ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Scholarship Programme. For more information download the Greenbacks app, visit any Nedbank branch, call us on 0860 555 111 or visit