Apply now for the annual Arts & Culture Trust Nyoloha Scholarship Programme


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

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is calling young, talented and dedicated South African artists with a specific interest in studying the arts at a tertiary arts institution in South Africa* to apply for a coveted spot on the ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme for 2024.

Are you a singer, dancer, actor or a visual or digital artist between the ages of 17 and 25, do you qualify for tertiary study, are you eager for an opportunity to receive discipline-focused training and mentorship and do you want the opportunity to compete in Johannesburg for 1 of 2 scholarship prizes valued at R300 000 each? Apply now for this lifetime opportunity via the ACT website Applications close on 5 April 2024.

The ACT NSP is a partnership between the ACT and the Nedbank Arts Affinity that is supported by Nedbank, Sun International and MTN Foundation SA, and was re-launched in 2022 after a 2-year break during Covid 19. This joint initiative creates an opportunity for young performing or visual artists to receive professional arts training and/or scholarship funding for higher education.

The 2024 iteration of the ACT NSP will be fresh and unique, comprising of 2 components: the ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme and the ACT Nyoloha Training Programme.

Traditionally, the ACT solely offered the scholarship programme, which provides arts scholarships for youth to pursue a tertiary education. However, we’ve expanded our offering to include the ACT Nyoloha Training Programme, which offers free training to a select group of excellent artists who do not intend to pursue a formal tertiary education.

  • ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme

The undergraduate scholarship programme targets youth aged 17–25, who are either currently in matric or already have a university exemption, and who are not already studying arts and are not professionals. The goal of this scholarship is to support individuals in obtaining their first qualification in the performing, visual and digital arts at a South African tertiary institution or an ACT-accredited institution. One successful applicant in each category, ie performing arts and visual or digital arts, will receive a scholarship valued at R300 000 to start their studies in the 2025 academic year.

  • ACT Nyoloha Training Programme

The ACT Nyoloha Training Programme is a development-focused opportunity, designed to increase employability through the enhancement of sector-related knowledge and skills. Priority will be given to 17-25 youth who do not wish to pursue a formal qualification in the performing/visual arts sector but are currently and actively pursuing careers in performing/visual arts disciplines.

The 2024 iteration of the ACT NSP will have a strong focus on the inclusion of immersive technologies in the performing and visual or digital arts and explore domestic and international employability options for participants. The programme will enable key skills and knowledge transference in participants’ choice of discipline – ie singing, acting, dance, visual or digital art – and ensure that they become well-versed in the technical and artistic aspects of mixed reality and AI tools.

Application process


  • Category 1: Visual and digital arts – Candidates must prepare to submit portfolios as specified in the application guidelines document.
  • Category 2: Performing arts – Candidates must prepare to submit a 2-minute video in which they perform in their selected discipline (ie singing, acting or dance).
  • ACT will be accepting a total intake of 80 participants for this year’s scholarship programme and a total of 15 participants for the training programme.
  • Parental or guardian consent is required when applying to audition for a spot on the 2024 scholarship programme.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited for virtual interviews via Zoom in April 2024.
  • The programme comprises bi-weekly online training and mentorship with industry heavyweights.
  • Participants must engage actively and participate in tasks, which will be evaluated monthly using a rating system.
  • The top 15 candidates across all disciplines will be the finalists and will compete in a gala performance showcase and visual or digital arts exhibition.
  • The finalists will be brought to Johannesburg and hosted for a full week with all expenses paid in preparation for the gala performance and exhibition.
  • The winners in each of the 2 categories will be revealed at the gala performance and exhibition event.

Who may not participate

  • Professional artists or performers.
  • Those who already have an arts qualification.
  • Those who are already registered with a tertiary institution.

‘The ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme not only provides tertiary opportunities for emerging artists, but also nurtures their professional and individual development. Personal development, together with the life skills learned throughout the duration of the programme, is life-changing for so many candidates. We therefore encourage young people who are serious about a career in the arts to apply,’ says ACT interim CEO Jessica Denyschen.

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.

Poovi Pillay, Executive Head of Corporate Social Investment (CSI), at Nedbank says: ‘Who we are as humans and how we interact with all forms of life are reflected in the many artforms across time. It requires us to constantly navigate and interrogate our perceptions of the world and to question our society, customs, beliefs, practices, truths and untruths. Our artists are essential in helping us to reflect on this and South Africa has an abundance of young artists with wonderful intellectual capacity and potential. In 2023 the ACT Nyoloha Scholarships attracted 158 applications from across South Africa in each of the arts categories, namely the visual arts, digital arts, dance, drama, music, singing and performance. The scholarship programme significantly contributes to the sustainable development and growth of our country’s arts and culture heritage. These are our future rising stars who will help shape our country’s present and future worldview and narrative through the arts. We believe in them and the professional training and mentorship that are part of the scholarship programme for up to 60 selected artists in the build-up to the end-of-year finals. This training and mentorship includes self-development, people management, entrepreneurship, marketing and communication skills. There are 2 scholarships to be won but the goal of the ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme is to engage with all of these young artists so that they can achieve a successful and sustainable career.’

‘Each year the quality of talent sets a significantly higher benchmark for the next iteration of the Nyoloha Scholarship Programme. The growth and development of young people is key to the success of this country’s future and Sun International is proud to work alongside ACT, Nedbank and MTN to positively contribute to a brighter tomorrow for the arts and culture sector,’ says Heidi Edson, Group Socioeconomic Development (SED) Specialist at Sun International.

Visit before 5 April 2024 to view the ACT NSP open-call details and start paving your way to a brighter future.

#ACTnyoloha #ACT30 #actstrat #ACTSAtalent #NedbankArtsAffinity #SupportWhatMatters

* Scholarship amount is dependent on the institution of choice and is limited to R300 000 per person. ENDS




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

EDITED BY: Arts & Culture Trust,



Celebrating 30 years of Arts Excellence – Arts & Culture Trust

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent development and art investment organisation. The primary aim of ACT 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, arts management, arts education, and arts administration.

Over the last 30 years, ACT has supported more than 830 arts, culture, and heritage development projects countrywide which includes small businesses. For more information, please visit the ACT website, follow them on X, or like their Facebook page.

About Nedbank

In partnership with ACT, the Nedbank Arts Affinity has donated more than R30 million over 30 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

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 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 three 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 an award-winning, multi-brand loyalty programme called ‘Discovery’. 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 socio-economic development 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.

About the MTN SA Foundation

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 Foundation 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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