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UD-Express
‘Resuscitating’ of performing arts in town
Shafiq Kalumo and Thandokazi Swartbooi have at heart to let performing art take to the stage again in Uitenhage. Photo:SUPPLIED

ARTS in Uitenhage, more especially theatre has taken a nosedive, but a group of young aspiring artists have at heart to resuscitate performing arts in town.

“Uitenhage has many actors, writers, producers, directors you name them, but we see no theatre shows being given preference like other forms of art,” said Shafiq Kalumo, a performing artist and Stageworld Theatre School alumnus.

Kalumo during 2018 started Linga Creatives, with the aim of training young ones who are passionate about theatre. He later formed a partnership with a friend of his, Thandokazi Swartbooi, a co-founder and chairperson of Uthando-noLwazi. This is an organisation that aims at mentoring and tutoring learners from Grade 7-12.

“Since we have formed this partnership, we have taken a stance of putting up theatre productions and poetry sessions. We have had successful events lately,” said Kalumo.

“We are so grateful to our loyal audience. They are the ones we are trying to please and keep happy. And it finally looks like there is still life in the art after lockdown.”

So far, they have taken part in an online Shakespeare Festival which was a prep for the Shakespeare Schools Virtual Festival 2020.

“We have filmed our production and learners from Uitenhage High School and Solomon Mahlangu, who are under the mentorship of Linga Creatives, enjoyed their time in front of cameras.”

They are now working towards Lavuth’ibhayi Film Festival for high schools, which is also going to be online. Kalumo and Swartbooi have also resumed their Art In Me sessions which take place at Agape Coffee Shop every last Sunday of the month. The next session will be on September 27.

“After all there is still arts after lockdown. Our aim is not to make money out of these events, the love of money kills art. That is the reason why we don’t see performances in Uitenhage,”said Kalumo.

“We need to keep the spirit of art alive. The learners we are working with are so hungry for this, and we are here to develop and sharpen their skills.”

Schools in Uitenhage, or individuals who wish to be part of the resuscitating of performing arts in town are invited to join Uthando-noLwazi and Linga Creatives.

  • For more information contact Shafiq Kalumo on 074 663 1195 / 065 800 4476 or Thandokazi Swartbooi on 061 488 0627.
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