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'Super six' named to compete for ACT scholarships

15 AUGUST 2011

Six promising young ‘triple threats’ have been announced as the finalists in the third annual Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Scholarships, sponsored by DALRO and Nedbank Arts Affinity.

They will be competing for two coveted scholarships, each valued at R105 000, to study towards an undergraduate performing arts qualification at a recognised tertiary institution thereby providing an invaluable kickstart to a career in the industry.

"Once again, Nedbank is a proud to be associated with this year’s ACT Scholarship awards, in acknowledging and celebrating the value and passion that these emerging artists put into their work. We wish all the finalists the best of luck in the final round. We and our Arts Affinity clients are happy to be contributing to supporting South Africa’s future artists,” said Maseda Ratshikuni, Nedbank Head: Cause Marketing.

After regional auditions were held around the country in June and July, six finalists were selected to compete in the final round, to be hosted at Gold Reef City’s Globe Theatre on Tuesday, 4 October 2011.

The finalists are: Jody Fortuin and Anzio September, who are both Grade 12 learners at Settlers High School in Cape Town; Nomagugu Gumede, a matric pupil at Danville Park Girls High School in Kwa-Mashu, KwaZulu-Natal; Tankiso Mamabolo, who is currently head girl at the Lady Grey Arts Academy in the Eastern Cape; Tanielle Powell, a 17-year-old actress from Bedfordview in Gauteng; and Ilse-Lee van Niekerk, a Grade 12 learner from Herschel Girls High School in Cape Town.

These six finalists have already shown the judges their exceptional promise in the ‘triple threat’ activities of singing, acting and dancing. On the night of the ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Performing Arts Scholarships finals in October, they will be required to demonstrate excellence in all three areas, if they want to walk off with one of the scholarships.

The adjudication panel for the awards comprises actress, TV presenter and businesswoman Kim Cloete; ACT chairperson and the co-founder of Pink Room Productions, Brenda Radloff Devar; drama and physical theatre lecturer from Tshwane University of Technology, Janine Lewis; Mpho Molepo, who is an ACT board member and executive director of the Southern Africa Theatre Initiative (SATI); actor, singer and presenter Aubrey Poo; and Jennis Williamson, manager at the Talent Etc agency.

Yet another dimension has been added to the competition, giving a promising young MC the chance to shine in addition to providing a significant boost to performing arts education in South Africa. On the night of the final round, the public will be introduced to Palesa Sekati, 21, a second-year LLB student at the University of the Witwatersrand, who will serve as the master of ceremonies for the occasion. She was selected to present the awards following extensive auditions.

The Arts & Culture Trust is pleased to acknowledge the funders of this important arts education initiative, the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) and Nedbank through their Arts Affinity programme.

ACT is also grateful to the following valued partners: the Globe Theatre at Gold Reef City Casino (host of the Scholarships final); Sleepy Gecko Guesthouse (which is sponsoring accommodation for the scholarships final); media partner Classicfeel Magazine; and Talent Etc™ (the two scholarship winners will receive the option of signing up with Talent Etc™ as soon as their studies have been completed).

For more details, contact the ACT office at (011) 712-8403 or email

Meet the ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Performing Arts Scholarship finalists for 2011:

Jody Fortuin
Jody is a Grade 12 learner from Settlers High School in Cape Town. In 2009 she received the best supporting actress award in the Grade 10 Talent Show and was part of their school’s drama production, ‘Buckingham Palace’.

In 2010 Jody, as part of a collective, won the overall trophy for best drama in the Sanlam Trust Outeniqua Kaleidoscope competition.

Nomagugu Mbali Nokulunga Gumede
Nomagugu is based in Kwa-Mashu in KwaZulu-Natal, where she is currently completing Grade 12 at Danville Park Girls High School. She has appeared in numerous productions, amongst others, ‘All That Jazz’ in 2007, ‘Music of The Night’ in 2008, ‘Penny Lane’ in 2009, and in 2010 she was directed by Peter Court in ‘Take Flight’.

Tankiso Mamabolo
This aspiring musical theatre performer has been attending Lady Grey Arts Academy in the Eastern Cape for the past three years. She is head girl of the school and was selected for an international exchange programme in Sweden. For the past two years Tankiso received the award for best actress at the Academy.

Tanielle Powell
This 17-year-old is based in Bedfordview in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. In 2010 she was awarded overall best dancer, singer and actor in her age category and came second in acting for all ages at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. She also recently appeared in the M-Net Series ‘The Wild’, portraying the role of Roxy.

Anzio Kevin September
Anzio is a Grade 12 learner at the Settlers High School in Bellville. In 2010 he portrayed the role of Pretty Boy in ‘Buckingham Palace District Six’, for which he received an honours award. He also received honours for overall excellence in dramatic arts (practical and theory). In 2011 Anzio was cast in the musical ‘Hairspray’ as Corny Collins.

Ilse-Lee van Niekerk
Ilse-Lee is based in Cape Town, where she is currently completing Grade 12 at Herschel Girls High School. In 2005 she appeared as Annie in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and in 2008, she was directed by William Kentridge for her part in ‘The Magic Flute’. She has also appeared in ‘Grease’ as Sandy and won the award for best all-rounder in the Eisteddfod for the past two years.

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. Go to for more information about ACT, its funding programmes, criteria for assessment and submission of applications online.

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