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Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival goes digital to create awareness on Covid-19

by HRH Stella Sigcau

16 June 2020

The Virtual Mpondo Festival digital Covid-19 Awareness Competition was launched during Youth Month to create awareness around the corona virus, support young upcoming artists, as well as promote Mpondo culture and heritage.

Artists in South Africa have been affected immensely by the lockdown due to Covid-19. The South African government has embarked on providing assistance for artists through initiatives by provincial and national departments. This initiative sought to add a hand in assisting in this regard.

Young artists were invited to submit their videos online showcasing their craft in isiMpondo through dance, poetry, song and comedy thus expressing their culture and heritage with the following themes: wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing and sanitizing. The public were to participate by voting online for their favourite contestant.

The annual Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival launched in 2006 amongst others provided a platform for upcoming artists to showcase their talents and gain exposure, promote Mpondo arts, craft, music, dance and heritage as well as unity in the Mpondo Kingdom and unity in a diversity of cultures.

A young poet Ngqiqo Hlazo who is 13 years of age from Ngqeleni in the Mpondo Kingdom in an announcement made on Youth Day was voted as the winner of the Covid-19 Awareness Competition. The last born son of six siblings of Mthobeli Hlazo and Nomfaneleko Ntanjana Hlazo aspires to be a teacher as well as promote Arts and Culture. With his gift as a poet the grade 5 pupil at Cwele Primary School in Ngqeleni wants to inspire young people to get out of their own boxes, be proud of who they are and their heritage. Amongst the rewards he received was payment for his studies for the 2021 academic year courtesy of Ebenezar Siyabonga Events, a Johannesburg based company to also promote and encourage education. The digital Mpondo Festival Covid-19 Awareness Campaign Competition was a resounding success due also to the support of various sponsors.

Covid-19 has affected how things are conducted necessitating the need to go digital.




February/March 2020

















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