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Learners` Experiences at National Arts Festival 2011


The Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2011 runs from Thursday, 30th June 2011 till Sunday, 10th July, during the June/July school holidays. The NAF (National Arts Festival) is sponsored by a wide variety of different companies. This is the biggest arts festival in Southern Africa, and it aims at providing a platform for different artists to show their talents, and an opportunity for people to learn, engage and open up their minds to a new experience.

We are four Grade 12 learners from Victoria Girls' High School. The aim of this project is to enable us to get sponsorship to attend the National Schools Festival, which will be running after the NAF.

1. Faces, Fun and Footage in The National Arts Festival

By: Ayanda Twani

I'm A Grahamstown resident and recently I've acquired an " I don't care" attitude when it comes to the arts festival. But this year my attitude changed for the better. After deciding to spend an afternoon all by myself to witness it all, or at least part of it, I was stunded by the fun I could have. One thing that always interests me are the faces I see. Not just famous people from T.V but extraordinary displays of arts and crafts that reflect the life of the artist through his inspiration. For axamlpe a free show produced by local entertainers, exhibited the life of a young boy who took a journey and explored various villages. One village was of giants and the other had been inhibited by pantsulas who lived life doing one thing and one thing only, dancing. This is just a reflection on the life of these boys. Another heart-warming production that I watched is one that is now the highlight of my festival. This play, presented by Kagiso productions, was entitled Power of Love. It displayed the struggle we face as humanity when dealing with the battle of forgiveness. This play was based on a rich ex-convict called Ronald whose character was changed for the better by prison. After sacrificing his life for his younger sister's education, his sister threw him and their other sisiter out of their home as she'd been embarrased by their ungodly acts in life. His making money as a criminal and their other sister's life as a prostitute, was too much for a born again Christian. However, she'd forgotten that life can be pretty long and she herself may one day be faced with a murder case against her and will need her brother's help.
This cathartic drama includes a piano setting its mood in the backround and holding the suspense throughout. It allowed me to reflect on my own struggles when faced with forgiveness, but it reminded me that the most important things are hope, faith and love.

Despite the weather I was able to see the faces, witness the arts and crafts, and watch the footage in one afternoon. Thanks to the National Arts Festival.


2. Life, Love and Music

I'm a devoted music fan. It allows me open up various spectrums in life and to attend to things from a differnt from perspective. Only then am I able to explore feelings like love and passion through music. This is why I've stolen Zake's, the South African artist, album titled- Life, Love and Music. You really cannot put the three apart and the National Arts Festival explores these three concepts in great detail. I watched one of the evening shows at the Monument one night and boy was I mesmorised by the sounds. The marimbas, the traditional dancing and the Asian belly-dancing, performed by European descendants, are definitely things one has to see. All of this stands as proof that we are moving closer and closer to a Global Identity where the amalgamation of various cultures is seen. And guess what! Grahamstown will be the craddle of that new identity and boy am I excited to see what we have lined up for the next festival.


3. Festive Goodies

By: Faith du Plessis

It's the start of something new, and it smells absolutely divine. One of the major highlights during the festival has got to be the food that comes along with it. Pancakes and a cup of fresh coffee can be a great start to an early morning of exploring the National Arts Festival. The Kudu Burger tops my menu for the festival year after year, and this year was no exception. The festival only lasts for several days, so explore the food offered during the festival and be open to try something new for this year. After all, all the food that I've tried so far has left me wanting more.


4. Weather

By: Krista du Plooy

It is one of the coldest festivals I've ever experienced. I'm running out of clothes to put on. In these few days it has rained so much that yesterday the two main fields where the festival is held was closed. Fiddlers Green looked like a lake, I’m sure it would have been fun to row a boat through it. Apparently engineers had to go secure the tents before the fields would be opened again. However this did not stop people from shopping and going into town as traffic was still congested!!


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awareNet song video shoot - 47.jpg
by: Anna Wertlen
on: 2011-11-21 20:34:56