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Another award in the bag for Drama for Life

- Wits University

Wits University’s Drama for Life won a bronze award at the Gauteng Premier’s Service Excellence Awards.

The award in Social Transformation in the Education and Skills Development category recognised DFL’s work in bringing about positive change in society and Gauteng communities through their programmes. DFL accepted the award at a ceremony at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg on 28 February 2019.

Through applied arts, art therapies, arts research and numerous community projects, DFL has committed to transformation and healing within the African context. The Gauteng Premier’s Excellence Awards acknowledge civil servants, businesses, individuals, and communities for improving the lives of people of Gauteng.

DFL’s award, a cash prize of R12 000,  adds to an impressive list of accolades that DFL has received as a leader in changing education towards human rights and social justice education. Warren Nebe, DFL Director, said, “The award recognises the ground-breaking work DFL has undertaken in arts education, development and therapies, for social transformation and healing. We are delighted by the growing local, regional and international recognition of our arts pedagogy for social change.”

Drama for Life students in theatre

Following the Gauteng Premier’s Award, Nebe said that DFL intends to enhance its position as a new leader in facilitating change dialogues by creating critical and empathic dialogues, to grow a progressive, human rights based culture in South Africa.

“We have been invited by several universities to contribute toward training and dialogue facilitation through our innovative methods. We will build upon our partnerships and networks with universities, colleges and NGO partners here in South Africa and abroad. We are specifically interested in enhancing our research in democratic pedagogies that are cognisant of the need to build empathic and critical thinking. We hope to play a more active role in the democratisation of our university space at Wits.”

 In 2015, DFL collaborated with the Joburg Theatre to develop the Applied Performing Arts and Arts Management (APAAM) programme, a three-year course in community theatre. The programme aims to create educational and theatre opportunities for deserving young people by celebrating and promoting cultural diversity. This programme has been instrumental in preparing community theatre groups to become theatre game- changers.

Lindiwe Sithole, Community and Youth Development Manager at the Joburg Theatre played a pivotal role in promoting the programme to young people. DFL dedicated the award to Sithole, who passed away recently, for her contribution in making the programme a success and for her immaculate service towards the country’s youth.