Thirty years ago Smal Ndaba and Phyllis Klotz recognised the need for a space that celebrated the magnificence of human spirit, the profound need for inclusion and most importantly the potential the arts have to provide a potent instrument for heritage preservation, community mobilisation and activism, and a tool to build social cohesion, community capacity and leadership.
Pooling their resources, life experience and diverse talents Ndaba and Klotz founded the Sibikwa Arts Centre in Daveyton on Gauteng’s East Rand. Primarily an arts programme for young people in Daveyton, the centre’s mission was and still is to promote quality arts education, theatre performance, vocational training and job creation in South Africa while preserving, promoting and protecting indigenous languages and cultural practices.
“It has been a long hard road to have achieved this milestone but worth every up and down when you see the young people who have been developed through the arts.” Says Phyllis Klotz co-founder of The Sibikwa Arts Centre.
Birthed in turbulent times, the centre tasked itself with bringing inclusive theatre and the arts to the communities it served. Through thought-provoking work, the centre challenged both young and old audiences to engage and enjoy theatre. In doing so it opened up dialogue, raised social awareness and cemented its role as a touchstone to country’s past. Over the last thirty years the centre has pioneered an arts model that fuses the educational possibilities of the arts with professional training and community development.
For the last three decades The Sibikwa Arts Centre has serviced the South African arts community by developing theatre and arts practitioners and administrators. Within its immediate metro of Ekurhuleni, Sibikwa serves over 3 million people while its teacher training and youth skills development programmes extend beyond Gauteng’s borders to Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape. Furthermore, Sibikwa is an Accredited Service Provider with CATHSETA. This gives the centre the capacity to offer nationally recognised qualifications in the Performing Arts endorsed by both SAQA and the Department of Labour.
“Even though Sibikwa is a community arts centre in Benoni, it has managed to groom stars that are taking the performing arts and film industry by storm – these artists continue to proudly fly our flag high. Throughout the 30 years, all this was made possible by the generosity of our funders, without these donors, Sibikwa wouldn’t be where it is today,” says Smal Ndaba co-founder of The Sibikwa Arts Centre.