Zwide's Musa Ngqungwana wins prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award

OCTOBER 30, 2014

The National Arts Festival on Wednesday night announced that Zwide-born Musa Ngqungwana was among six young South Africans who won the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award.

Standard Bank has sponsored the Awards, which was celebrated in Grahamstown this year, for 30 years now.

Ngqungwana grew up in the township Zwide in Port Elizabeth with a passion for performance at a young age, taking part in small theatre productions in the township.

Being brought up by his mother and grandmother, Ngqungwana had a rich and interesting childhood taking part in a variety of activities widely ranging from rugby to reading.

From primary school he sang in choirs, which pre-empted his career as a singer.

Ngqungwana, who won the award for music, is now one of 137 winners who have received this accolade since 1984.

The Standard Bank Young Artist Award is made annually to young South African artists who are either on the threshold of national acclaim, or whose artistic excellence has enabled them to make international breakthroughs.

“The announcement of each year’s Standard Bank Young Artist Awards offers a window into the dynamic vibrancy with which South African artists continue to use their talents and skills to resolutely raise the bar on artistic excellence in South Africa” says Ismail Mahomed Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival.

The other winners of the 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist Awards are Luyanda Sidiya for Dance; Nduduzo Makhathini for Jazz; Kemang Wa Lehulere for Visual Art; Athi-Patra Ruga for Performance Art; and Christiaan Olwagen for Theatre.

“Standard Bank continues to pioneer and support initiatives that ensure platforms for the talented voices of our country’s young established artists. Over the past 31 years, this award has proven to be a flagship of its kind in the arts in South Africa.

“We look forward to see what the 2015 group of winners will add to our national arts treasury, both as ambassadors of and inspiration for a new generation,” said Hazel Chimhandamba, Head Group Sponsorship at Standard Bank.

Apart from a cash incentive, each of the winners will be featured on the Main programme of the 2015 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown (2 – 12 July 2015), where they will be given the opportunity to develop and première new works.

Photo caption: The National Arts Festival on Wednesday night announced that Zwide-born Musa Ngqungwana   was among six young South Africans who won the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award.