Blessing Ngobeni wins Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts

November 20, 2019

The Young Artist Awards, sponsored by Standard Bank, are presented by the National Arts Festival Committee to emerging, relatively young South African artists who have demonstrated exceptional ability in their chosen fields but who have not yet achieved national exposure and acclaim.

Artists are nominated by members of the Festival Artistic Committee, fellow artists as well as by interested members of the public. The Artistic Committee, comprising established professionals from the various arts disciplines, decides on the final recipients.

Designed to encourage the recipients in the pursuit of their careers, a key aspect of the awards is that they guarantee the winning artists a place on the Main programme of the following year’s National Arts Festival.

Apart from a cash prize, each of the winners receive substantial financial backing for their Festival participation, whether this is the mounting of an exhibition or the staging of a production.

A maximum of six awards are made annually in any one of the disciplines of drama, music, jazz, visual art, performance art, dance and film. Since the inception of the awards in 1981, more than 150 awards have been presented as well as five special awards to artists in recognition of their contribution to the National Arts Festival and the arts of South Africa.

The Standard Bank Young Artists for 2020 are:

Blessing Ngobeni (Visual Art), Lulu Mlangeni (Dance), Jefferson Tshabalala (Theatre), Sisonke Xonti (Jazz) and Nthato Mokgata – also known by his stage name Spoek Mathambo (Music)

How are winners selected?

Adjudication of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award is an internal discretionary process by members of the Festival’s Artistic Committee. However, members of the public are also welcome to put forward their nominations.


Watch Blessing's video here


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