FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 28 February 2024

Apply now for the Arts & Culture Trust Thuthukisani Programme Atologa 2024


The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is proud to announce that applications for the ACT Thuthukisani Programme Atologa 2024 are now open in all 9 provinces until 12 April 2024.

From 2021 to 2023, each cycle of the ACT Thuthukisani Programme took place in certain provinces:

  • Cycle 1 (2021): North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
  • Cycle 2 (2022): Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Cycle 3 (2023): Gauteng, Free State and Western Cape.

This year, artists and arts entrepreneurs across all 9 provinces of South Africa can participate in cycle 4 of the ACT Thuthukisani Programme, called Atologa 2024.

The ACT Thuthukisani Programme, in partnership with Nedbank, is a beacon of support for emerging and established South African artists and arts entrepreneurs, offering them essential entrepreneurship training and mentorship, as well as cash investment opportunities.

To date, more than 73 arts entrepreneurs or businesses have benefited from this programme, having completed entrepreneurial training, development initiatives, and 1-on-1 mentorship sessions with industry specialists. They also received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch their projects for a cash investment to help them implement their projects.

Participants who make it into the ACT Thuthukisani Programme can expect to develop their business expertise through a rigorous curriculum that covers modules such as Asset-based Citizen-led Development; Project Management; Financial Management; Marketing; Strategic Community and Audience Development; Governance; Monitoring and Evaluation; and Learning. After having completed the training programme and meeting all the programme requirements in terms of the participant agreement, participants will receive a certificate of completion for their participation. Only projects that illustrate merit and viability to generate income will be selected for the monetary investment of up to R35 000 for the project rollout, which must take place within 90 days. Selected registered companies will be eligible for the maximum investment amount of R35 000 while non-registered companies will be eligible for a maximum investment amount of R10 000.

Laycenther Mogale Sedibe, an ACT Thuthukisani Programme participant from the Northern Cape, says: ‘My favourite module from the programme was Financial Management, which taught me about separating business money and personal money, how to do it and the discipline thereof.’

Garnet Ludick, another participant from the Northern Cape, who received a cash investment for GLU Creation, his visual arts business that specialises in mosaic art workshops, added: ‘I’ve grown so much and now make a decent profit each month. I’m now a bit swamped with work and I am meeting with the programme mentor to see how I can expand my business to include hiring people to help me at my studio and to expand to other areas in the Northern Cape.’

Individuals or businesses that are eligible to apply for the fourth cycle of this programme include registered or non-registered businesses and community art centres operating within the disciplines of visual arts, digital arts, performing arts, music, and literature. If you apply in a music or film capacity, the content and theme, or subject matter, must have arts and culture at its core, so music videos or documentaries about animals will not be eligible.

‘After having recently hosted an exclusive online information briefing session attended by more than 100 applicants, we’re witnessing a high volume of arts entrepreneurs who are interested in the Thuthukisani Programme,’ says Jessica Denyschen, CEO of ACT. ‘This was encouraging, as it demonstrated an appetite from local arts entrepreneurs to proactively use the tools, skills and resources available to them in developing their products or services into profitable businesses without an overdependency on grants, which we often see in the South African arts and culture sector. We encourage all arts entrepreneurs – those with an ambition to elevate their business, generate an income, and ensure that their business sustains itself for years to come – to move swiftly in seizing this opportunity before applications close.’

Poovi Pillay, Executive Head of Corporate Social Investments (CSI) at Nedbank, says: ‘The ACT Thuthukisani Programme Atologa 2024 is all about engaging with artists and arts businesses and empowering them to gain the entrepreneurial know-how to operate, evolve and develop self-sustaining enterprises. The programme is well aligned with Nedbank’s corporate ethos of economic emancipation through skills development and education.’

Thuthukisani is a call to action taken from the isiZulu word ‘thuthukisa’ (verb), meaning ‘to develop’. True to its name, the ACT Thuthukisani Programme plays a vital role in empowering and educating participants to develop their skills and business acumen to become active and contributing members of a thriving arts and culture economy. Find out more about the programme on their website ( and apply before the closing date of 12 April 2024.

Should you have any questions about this programme, please contact Palesa Molefe at

To keep in touch with the ACT, visit their website, follow them on X or like their Facebook page.

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Celebrating 30 years of Arts Excellence – Arts & Culture Trust

The 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 help create sustainable futures for our talented artists, through development and investment in innovative and 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 their support extends to festivals, community arts initiatives, arts management, arts education, and arts administration. Over the past 30 years, ACT has supported more than 830 arts, culture and heritage development projects (including small businesses) countrywide.

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 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, visit any Nedbank branch, call us on 0860 555 111, or visit