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

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is excited to announce the extension of the application deadline for the prestigious ACT Thuthukisani Programme Atologa 2024. Due to overwhelming interest and enquiries, and to accommodate potential applicants, the deadline has been extended to Sunday, 12 May 2024.

The extended deadline provides additional time for artists and arts entrepreneurs across all 9 provinces of South Africa to participate in the 4th iteration of Atologa. To all arts entrepreneurs with a bubbling project idea but could not apply on time: If you’ve been looking for a sign from the universe, look no further – this is it! Don’t let this golden opportunity slip through your fingers.

Atologa, proudly supported by Nedbank, is a cornerstone of support for emerging and established South African artists and arts entrepreneurs. Through comprehensive entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and cash investment opportunities, the programme aims to nurture talent and foster sustainable growth in the arts and culture sector.

Applications are open to registered and non-registered businesses, community art centres, and rural and township enterprises operating within various arts disciplines, including visual arts, digital arts, performing arts, music, and literature. If applying in a music or film capacity, the content, theme, or subject matter must have arts and culture at its core. For example, music videos or documentaries about animals are not eligible.

Over the years the programme has empowered more than 73 arts entrepreneurs and businesses. Participants selected to participate in the ACT Thuthukisani Programme will undergo an intensive curriculum designed to enhance their business acumen. This comprehensive programme encompasses training modules including Project Management; Financial Management; and Marketing and Audience Development with a particular focus on access to new markets, access to information on different types of financing models available, and mentorship on how to pitch to potential financers for your business.

On successful completion of the training programme and fulfilment of all programme requirements outlined in the participant agreement, individuals will be awarded a certificate of completion. Subsequently, projects demonstrating potential to generate income will be considered for monetary investment, with amounts of up to R35 000 available for project roll-out within a 90-day timeframe. Registered companies stand eligible for the maximum investment amount, while non-registered entities can qualify for a cash investment amount of up to R10 000.

South African internationally renowned performing artist, fashion designer, and entrepreneur Jefferson Tshabalala, who participated in cycle 3 of the programme, says: ‘The Thuthukisani mentorship programme has helped me understand how to scale my business. After having been at the helm of an independent SMME for several years, you get so absorbed in the day-to-day management of the business that you don’t have time to focus on growth and expansion.’ He further added: ‘I now have someone helping me to develop this side. With newfound guidance, I’m restructuring my team to delegate responsibilities, which allows me to focus on expansion and performance ventures, including an upcoming project for the National Arts Festival.’

ACT CEO Jessica Denyschen says: ‘As a creative entrepreneur who’s been privileged to sustain a successful career out of freelancing through my business, I’m passionate about supporting emerging arts businesses and projects that show both merit and the potential to thrive financially. Over our 30-year legacy at ACT, we’ve committed to supporting artists and entrepreneurs by providing essential training, mentorship, and investment opportunities. Witnessing their growth and transformation into proactive business owners, who not only sustain their ventures but also create employment opportunities, is truly rewarding. We remain committed to nurturing grassroots talent and building sustainable, profitable businesses in the creative sector.’

Poovi Pillay, Executive Head of Corporate Social Investments (CSI) at Nedbank, says: ‘Nedbank in partnership with ACT is committed to making a positive impact on society through our focus on sustainable business creation and growth. The ACT Thuthukisani Programme Atologa 2024 is all about the development of small and medium arts enterprises throughout South Africa through the sharing of entrepreneurial skills, mentorship and investment. This empowers participants with the tools they need to operate professionally and sustainably as artists and arts entrepreneurs, and it opens doors for partnership opportunities in diverse South African communities.’

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 new closing date of 12 May 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

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, it 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, as well as arts administration. Over the past 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 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