Media release       For immediate release       16 October 2023


The Arts & Culture Trust Nyoloha Scholarship Programme winners announced


It was a night of glitz and glamour as sponsors, adjudicators, mentors, Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) alumini, members of the public, family and friends gathered at The Lesedi Theatre in the Joburg Theatre Complex on Saturday, 7 October 2023. They came to watch Abandize, the showcase by the ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme (NSP) performing arts finalists, followed by the announcement of the winners of the ACT NSP Performing Arts and Visual Arts categories. The 15 finalists stood a change to win 1 of 2 fully paid scholarships valued at R350 000 to study for an arts degree at a South African arts institution of their choice.


Excitement mounted as Gordon Froud, one of the NSP judges and a well-known artist, curator and lecturer, took to the stage to announce the winner of the Nyoloha Visual Arts scholarship: Azanda Nyangintsimbi (18) from Pretoria.


The tension in the theatre was palpable as Jessica Denyschen, CEO of Arts & Culture Trust, called out the winner of the Nyoloha Performing Arts scholarship: Naledi Lebelo (24) from Bloemfontein. The pouring of congratulations and applause was electric.


A year-long internship at Moving into Dance was awarded to Tintswalo Mahlakolisane while another year-long internship at Vuyani Dance Company was awarded to Bonoko Khoda, both who hail from Johannesburg. Charaé Halley, Head of the Market Theatre Laboratory (MTL), invited Nsizwazakithi Mvubelo, Nonjabulo Kubheka, Thato Segodi, Mthobisi Khanyile, and Nicole Retief – 5 of the finalists in Performing Arts category – to audition for a 2024 internship at the MTL. The scholarship winners also received a Huawei MatPad T and Samsung gear and all 15 finalists each received a goodie bag from MTN.


‘This scholarship represents an essential stepping stone towards my educational and professional goals. It is not just about the monetary value; to me, this is a symbol of faith in my potential and abilities. It’s a sign that people believe in my dreams as much as I do, and it’s encouragement to keep pushing, keep striving, and keep growing,’ says Azanda Nyangintsimbi.’Winning this scholarship means I can focus more on my studies and expand my horizons into becoming the best version of myself. I pledge to use this scholarship to pursue my academic endeavors with commitment. Thank you so much for investing in my future and for making my dreams more achievable,’ Nyangintsimbi added.


Azanda Nyangintsimbi and Naledi Lebo are both grateful to ACT, the sponsors and their fellow finalists for the recognition their rewards bring. Their hard work and dedication has paid off, with the future looking bright. ‘The scholarship means that I get to study my number one passion, which is music. I am one step closer to becoming the artist I have always imagined myself to be. I get the chance to learn how to impact the hearts and minds of people through art. I cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity. I am so humbled, honoured and incredibly blessed,’ says Naledi Lebelo.

The audience and exhibition visitors were suitably surprised by the quality, originality and dedication of the finalists to their respective crafts. Several well-known arts practitioners, such as award-winning actor David Dennis, remarked on the incredibly high standard of talent and artistic performances.

The visual artists are exhibiting their works of art at the MTN Innvotion Centre for the next 2 weeks and we invite members of the public to please show their support by visiting the exhibition.

‘The presented artworks, movement, dance and song was touching and impactful while taking the audience on a different journey with each interpretation of this year’s theme, ImpACTing Futures. Untapped talent abounds in this country and it is only through a initiative such as the ACT NSP and the commitment by our sponsors Nedbank, Sun International, BASA and MTN and the support from members of the arts and culture industry, that we are able to begin to develop futures for young artists and performers.’ says Jessica Denyschen, CEO of ACT. ‘Congratulations to the finalists and the winners. We believe the life and creative lessons they have learned through the NSP will positively impact them personally and give them a platform to persue their creative careers. We hope to one day see their names in lights.’

The ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme is an undergraduate scholarship programme aimed at providing opportunities for school leavers to pursue a tertiary qualification in the visual and performing arts. In partnership with Nedbank, Sun International and the Market Theatre, ACT has been offering scholarships since 2009. Following a 2-year interruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2022 relaunch of the programme was introduced in partnership with long-term sponsors and partners of ACT, Sun International and Nedbank, as well as Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), under a new organisational strategy.

Through the programme, talented and ambitious young people from across the country are introduced to the world of professional arts through an intensive week of training, talks and performances, culminating in a showcase and exhibition. Working with industry professionals and experts, participants gain valuable experience and the opportunity to work with other future artists from different backgrounds. To find out more about the ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme, visit

Poovandran Pillay, Executive Head for Corporate Social Investment (CSI) at Nedbank, says: ‘Nyoloha means ‘to rise’ in Sesotho, and that is what all the talented young people participating in this programme have done to forge a bright career for themselves in the arts and culture sector. Their individual talent, courage, commitment, and growth have made us so proud to be South African. ACT and Nedbank have been in partnership for 29 years, and the ACT and Nedbank scholarships have been active since 2009. We congratulate the wonderful 2023 winners, Naledi Lebelo and Azanda Nyangintsimbi, and we applaud the whole group as rising stars and legends who will elevate our country through the arts.’

Heidi Edson, Group Socioeconomic Development (SED) Specialist at Sun International, says: ‘Last year I was blown away by the highly talented Nyoloha finalists. But this year’s group has lifted the benchmark to an unprecedented high level of superior performance and presentation of artworks. The talent we have in this country is enormous but, sadly, most of it  goes unrecognised or undeveloped. The ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme gives talented young people the opportunity to expand, develop and believe in their talents. Sun International is extremely proud and grateful to be part of the ACT Nyoloha Scholarship journey and is elated for all the finalists and of course the 2 winners. We are committed to supporting the ACT in the important and impactful work they do and we look forward to growing this partnership. Congratulations to all the finalists and to the ACT Team!’


Let’s keep #ImpACTingFutures for tomorrow! To keep in touch with the ACT, visit their website, follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page.  ENDS


#ACTnyoloha #ImpACTingFutures #ACTSAtalent #Nedbank #NedbankArts #SunInternational #BizArt #actstrat



SUBMITTED BY: Debra de Souza,, WhatsApp calls only: 082 822 9478.


Over 29 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 the 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. 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 or like their Facebook page.



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 Nyoloha Scholarship Programme, the ACT Thuthukisani Programme and the ACT Tlholo Project. For more information, download the Nedbank Money app, visit any Nedbank branch, call us on 0860 555 111 or visit



Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) is a non-profit company that 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. BASA 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 about BASA, please go to


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 now 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, all Sun International’s properties and facilities offer a quality experience supported by authentic personal service. Most valued guests (MVG) 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), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands and operator of GHA DISCOVERY, an award-winning, multi-brand loyalty programme. Through GHA, Sun International can now participate in a network with 17 million members that operate 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 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 our hotel and casino properties. Sun International is also a recipient of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s global Safe Travels Stamp of approval.






In 2001, MTN South Africa established the MTN SA Foundation as its CSI arm. Through the Foundation, MTN SA partners with communities, civil society and other corporates in supporting development interventions in disadvantaged communities across South Africa. The mandate of the MTN SA is also informed by the information and communication technology (ICT) charter, which requires telecommunications companies to prioritise ICT led social investments.


To attain this goal, MTN SA Foundation harnesses its position as a corporate foundation to capitalise on strategic corporate resources, like MTN’s extensive telecommunications infrastructure, brand image and reputation, along with the expertise and abilities of MTN employees – particularly empowering women – through the implementation of ICT solutions.


Our strategy for ‘Ambition 2025: leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress’ is anchored in building the largest and most valuable business platform with a clear focus on Africa. This rests on a scale connectivity and infrastructure business – mobile and fixed access networks in the consumer, enterprise, and wholesale segments.


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