The Arts & Culture Trust’s Nyoloha Scholarship Programme open call launches in January 2023

Stand a chance to win a fully paid undergraduate scholarship to study at an arts institution of your choice in South Africa!


Applicants with a keen interest in participating in the The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Nyoloha Scholarship Programme (NSP) 2023 should be on the lookout for the open call for applications, which will launch on the ACT website at in the latter part of January 2023.


The ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme (ACT NSP) is a partnership between ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity that is sponsored by Nedbank and Sun International and was launched earlier this year. This joint initiative creates an opportunity to fund higher education for young South African performers and visual and digital artists. One successful applicant in each category, ie, performing arts and visual or digital arts, will receive a fully paid scholarship* to study at a tertiary or accredited South African arts institution of their choice.


The ACT invites applications from young people with matric between the ages of 17 to 25 years who want to study towards a performing, visual or digital arts degree and want to pave their way to a sustainable arts future. The 2023 Nyoloha Programme includes a category for digital arts candidates. Visual and digital arts candidates should prepare to submit their portfolios as specified in the official application criteria while performing arts candidates should prepare to submit two audition videos fitting the criteria. Applicants must not be considered a professional artist or performer and must be registered with a tertiary institution or an accredited institution.


To qualify, applicants must have passed matric with a university exemption. Parental or guardian consent and a registration fee are required when applying to audition for a spot on the 2023 programme. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for virtual interviews via Zoom in the early part of next year. The programme comprises of online training and mentorship with industry heavyweights. Participants are required to engage actively and participate in tasks, which will be evaluated monthly using a rating system to choose the 15 programme finalists who will compete in a final performance showcase and visual or digital arts exhibition where the winners in each of the two categories will be revealed.


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. By facilitating knowledge-creation opportunities through tertiary education and work experience in the arts industry, graduates are equipped with life and business skills so that they are career-ready and able to contribute to the growth and stimulation of the creative sector.


Winner of the 2022 ACT NSP performance arts category, Marang Khwene, encourages all applicants to believe in themselves. ‘Through all the crippling anxiety, fear, self-doubts – throw yourself in the deep-end and know that your own self-belief is what will carry you out. You are powerful beyond anything you can understand, so take the knowledge with you and move’.


Liam Rose, the winner of the visual arts category 2022 says: ‘The ACT Nyoloha Programme was a phenomenal experience. Through it I was able to view first-hand the incredible talent and wealth of artists residing in South Africa. On this journey, engaging with fellow creatives and wonderous mentors, I was able to gather knowledge that drove me to be a better artist. I also think the programme made me more socially aware of South Africa’s position in the arts world. Overall, I loved the journey and enjoyed the learning experience. I’m extremely fortunate to be a part of the programme and look forward to using what I’ve learnt in my future studies’.


ACT and Nedbank scholarships have been available since 2009. ‘The ACT Nyoloha Scholarship not only provides tertiary opportunities for emerging artists, but the programme also nurtures their professional and individual development. The 2022 ACT Nyoloha Programme was highly successful and next year’s programme promises to unearth, highlight and reward the immense talent of our country’s youth’ says ACT interim CEO, Jessica Denyschen.


Fortnightly activities for the ACT NSP will be managed by ACT-appointed mentors who will engage regularly with mentees and provide professional support. In the final week of each month, the work undertaken by the mentees is rated as part of the short-listing exercise. Students who don’t make the ratings will continue with the programme, but they will not be eligible for the finals. The final week comprises of masterclasses facilitated by industry leaders and will be attended by the 15 finalists, culminating in a gala function to announce the two winners of a fully paid scholarship to study at an arts institution of their choice in South Africa.


ACT, together with long-term partner Nedbank and returning partner Sun International, strongly believes in helping to build a better, more educated and 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.


Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank says: ‘The goal of the ACT Nyoloha scholarship programme is to help talented young people in all the art forms to graduate as 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. This is why we offer mentorship training for up to 60 artists annually in the lead-up to the finals. Our goal is for all of them to enjoy a successful and sustainable career.’


‘Sun International is immensely proud to be associated with the Nyoloha Scholarship Programme and we are delighted by the work that the Arts & Culture Trust is doing to further it. All 54 participants in 2022 were outstanding and we wish the two final bursary winners every success for the future. As one of the founding members of the Trust, we look forward to future partnerships and collaboration with them,’ adds Heidi Edson, Group Socio-economic Development (SED) Specialist at Sun International.


Diarise to visit in January 2023 to view the ACT NPS open-call details and start paving your way to a brighter future. #ACTnyoloha #actstrat #ACTSAtalent #NedbankArtsAffinity.

* Scholarship amount is dependent on the institution of choice and has a maximum limit of R350 000.






SUBMITTED BY: Debra de Souza,, WhatsApp calls only: 0828229478


Over 28 years of arts support – ARTS & CULTURE TRUST (ACT)


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 ACT, the Nedbank Arts Affinity has donated more than R28 million  over 28 years to support over 830 arts, culture, and heritage development projects countrywide. If you would like to make a difference in 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, visit any Nedbank branch, call us on 0860 555 111 or visit

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The Sun International brand has a proud legacy in the gaming, hospitality, conferencing, leisure and entertainment sectors.

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