ACT Award to DBN’s Gcina Mhlope

2010-11-08 00:00

DURBAN poet, author and storyteller, Gcina Mhlope was awarded the Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) Award for theatre at a luncheon in Rosebank, Johannesburg last Friday.

Mhlope, who was born in Hammarsdale, received her award from ACT trustee and owner of the Catalina Theatre in Durban, Themi Venturas, and Gérard Robinson, the executive director of the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO), which sponsors the theatre award.

Mhlope is known around the world for her charismatic performances, during which she uses storytelling as a means of keeping history alive to encourage South African children to read.

It’s been a great year for Mhlope, whose Songs and Stories of Africa: An Audio CD was awarded the South African Music Award (Sama) for best children’s album earlier this year.

Mhlope told The Witness that receiving the award had been a lovely surprise, adding: “It’s very humbling, because I am working in so many different disciplines all the time. I feel like I have lived several lives and I’m blessed to have been able to achieve [success] in so many fields.”

Also honoured at the ACT Lifetime Achievement Awards 2010 were Peter Clarke for visual arts and Pops Mohamed for music.

Clarke is best known for his graphic prints, particularly woodcuts, and collages which use leather, glass, found objects and other mixed media.

He received his award from Joseph Gaylard, ACT trustee and Ebrahim Hassim, manager of the Vodacom Foundation which sponsors the visual art award.

Mohamed is a multi-instrumenta­list, jazz musician and producer, who has taken it upon himself to keep traditional African sounds alive.

He received his award from ACT trustee Jayesperi Moopen and Nick Motsatse, chief executive officer of Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), which sponsors the music award.

The ACT awards honour arts professionals whose extraordinary careers have had a profound and lasting impact on arts, culture and heritage and whose achievements have contributed to the enrichment of cultural life in South Africa.

This year also saw the inaugural presentation of the ImpACT Awards for young professionals.

These went to Soweto-born artist Musa Nxumalo (visual arts); the founder and artistic director of Well Worn Theatre in Johannesburg, Kyla Davis, (theatre); flautist Monique van Willingh, from Cape Town (music and singing); and LIV Green Design, which was founded by Danielle Ehrlich and Ewaldi Grové in 2008 and focuses on sustainable urban design, in the design category.

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