A group of four young, ambitious graduates, of whom one is now a teacher, have formed a youth empowerment programme to educate, equip and empower the youth of Tsomo and small neighbouring towns.
The group’s different approach to education and skills is what brought them together and yielded an idea of doing theatre-related work and sport.
However, they have introduced the youth to training and workshops to educate and endow them with skills and information. Auditions were held at the beginning of the lockdown in April 2020 in neighbouring Cofimvaba. “We have been working since,” Lunga Ngcabashe, the group’s secretary said. After the auditions, the quartet decided to shoot a musical drama series called The Singing Competition which was aired on DSTV in July.
Ngcabashe described his proudest moment as seeing his youth group perform on TV and being watched and seen by people all over the world. ”Our fame came from drama and arts,’’ he said.
According to Ngcabashe, their community had never thought their children would be interested in something like this. “It was a new and exciting venture for them,” he said.
This initiative helped the young graduates realise the potential they had. They are not mainly focused on arts and acting, but sport as well. They said their journey had not been easy as they had encountered financial problems, but were fortunate enough to get the support of the surrounding communities, who have been able to provide financial support and make donations towards transportation and food.
However, the group could still use assistance from the public as they do not have funds to contribute towards their causes and are finding it hard to make ends meet. They have appealed to the Tsomo municipality requesting contributions towards digital equipment such as a laptop or a desktop.
They also lack resources for production and editing of their drama clips as well as food parcels for their excursion days. They are still waiting for a response regarding the matter.
Part of the group’s vision is to open an art development centre and they are currently engaging with the relevant bodies. Ngcabashe said: “We want to create a space where young people will meet and share ideas.” They also want to create jobs and develop entrepreneurs.
‘’We are very disappointed with the way local government is rejecting us. Our group has tried reaching out and pitching development plans, but we will have not received any kind of support,” Ngcabashe lamented.