School of Arts

Humanities Student part of prestigious Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Canada

Ms Thobile Maphanga.
Ms Thobile Maphanga.

Masters student in Drama and Performance Studies Ms Thobile Maphanga will represent South Africa at the prestigious Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Canada in June. She is one of only 35 participants to be invited to attend the global event that is an opportunity for knowledge sharing and networking on festivals around the world.

The seven-day training programme is designed for young artistic festival managers. It will enable, Maphanga to broaden her programming skills, widen her horizons, and develop new project ideas under the professional guidance of renowned festival managers from across the world who will share their rich experience. The Atelier focuses on the very essence of festivals: the art and the artist.

‘I see the role of artists, cultural spaces, and festivals as more vital now than ever before and I am passionate about amplifying voices that have been othered and silenced. I believe through festival platforms we can do this more frequently and effectively. I am eager to create spaces where people can commune and exchange ideas, thoughts, and provocations in a respectful manner and where diverse voices can be heard,’ said Maphanga.

She believes that her role as a mentee and choreographer for UKZN’s JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Festival has prepared her for a spotlight on the international stage.

Lecturer in UKZN’s Drama and Performance Studies Programme and JOMBA! Festival organiser Dr Lliane Loots commented, ‘This is a huge opportunity for an artist. Being in an international space with like- minded artists will allow Thobile to engage and grow her craft.’

Maphanga has launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to raise funds for the trip and is appealing to the arts community and the public to support her.

‘By contributing to this fund, you are assisting not only my personal growth but helping our community to remain relevant, connected, and to grow through sustainable practices. I am exceedingly proud to be representing South Africa on this global stage,’ she said.

To support Maphanga, go to

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