Remarks by the Minister Paul Mashatile, on the occasion of the 11th edition of the Naledi Theatre Awards, Gold Reef City
Programme Director, Ms Lebo Mashile
The Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts Culture and Recreation MEC Lebogang Maile
The Chairperson of the Naledi Theatre Awards, Mr Dali Tambo and other members of the Board here present
The Executive Director of the Awards, Ms Dawn Lindenberg
The Judges, Ms Carolyn Steyn and your team
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen;
As the Department of Arts and Culture, we have always maintained that South Africa has an abundance of artistic talent.
We have also maintained that this talent ranks high up there with the best in the world.
This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the message we carry with us on every platform we have locally, on the Continent and in the rest of the world to showcase our country’s artistic talent.
It is also this reality that drives the work we do to create more opportunities for our artists to be the best at what they do, and to expose them to audiences far and wide.
This evening we are once again honouring some of our country’s finest artists, who in our view can match the best in the world.
Those we are honouring today, tell the South African story through theatre performances.
They inspire us to think and dream beyond the impossible. They also open our window to the world.
They tell of our pain, of our suffering but also of our triumph over adversity.
Many of them constantly remind us that as humanity we share a common destiny.
All of these artists are our shining starts. They illuminate the path to our shared future.
They are the pride of our nation. And this evening we salute them.
On this important occasion as the Department of Arts and Culture we recommit ourselves to working with our stakeholders to raise the profile of theatre in the country.
In particular, we will work with you to encourage the growth and development of young and new theatre audiences.
We will also continue to encourage more of our young people to take up careers in the arts, including in theatre.
As part of doing all of this, I am glad to announce that working together with the Department of Basic Education, we have begun placing arts facilitators to teach arts in our schools.
We will also continue to support initiatives aimed at strengthening community theatre as a way of broadening the reach of theatre to all communities.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this evening belongs to our shining stars.
I therefore take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have been nominated for this year’s Naledi Theatre Awards.
I urge all of you to continue doing the excellent work that you are doing.
You are our nation’s inspiration and you can count on our ongoing support.