District first lady gives support to Ezakheni art creation & youth development center

Africa: The First Lady of the District Cllr SV Shabalala, accompanied by Mama Nana Mahlaba from the Department of Health, Mrs Busisiwe Mthabela and Mrs Mpume Masinga from uThukela Gender office today visited Art Creation Youth Development at Ezakheni.

The Art Creation Youth Development assists in developing youth through performance art which uses creative arts to train, educate, develop and life skills empowerment. It focuses on art and craft, Albinism, Gender Based Violence and Disability.

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One of its main objectives is to create a platform for effective personal development and highly display the importance of introducing arts to the community. The programme also gives young people a platform to express their talent and potential and channel their creativity towards constructive and productive social activities.

It does not interfere with school hours as it is implemented after school as this is the time when many young people are vulnerable to negative lifestyles, influences and behaviours.

Founded by Mr Thabani Hlatshwayo from Ezakheni eManzini Abilayo, the organization offers opportunities to young emerging artists from marginalized communities to be educated and formally trained in the arts.

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“I am passionate about arts and a supporter of young people who show an appetite for development”, said Mr Hlatshwayo. He emphasized the importance of implementing arts in education to help learners to balance school work with personal life.

Ndlunkulu Shabalala was impressed with the talent shown by the young people of Ezakheni and said they are giving hope. “Believe in yourself and your vision; everything always works out. Sometimes even better than you imagined. We will continue supporting you as our young people and the future of this country.” she said.

Mama Ndlunkulu then donated a laptop and print to the organization as a token of appreciation. The audience was delighted by the performers who portrayed different elements of arts on stage that reflected on issues relating to families, communities and society. Some products and productions reflected on substance abuse and gender-based violence.