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My Community Cooks programme shines a light on Mzansi talent

Despite the challenges of the past year, talent in creative hubs like Soweto continue to shine. To help nurture this talent, the My Community Cooks programme has been launched, aimed at developing skills and creating employment opportunities that empower the community.

The programme, created by Vuma, South Africa’s leading fibre provider, in partnership with the Soweto Wine & Lifestyle festival, Native Rebels and The Soweto Theatre, is open to Soweto’s finest musicians, photographers, designers, artists, dancers, and social innovators, who can submit their work to

Creative submissions will have the opportunity to be showcased to a global audience, through a series of live performances filmed at the iconic Soweto Theatre in July. Selected participants will also get the chance to take A person flying a kite

Description automatically generated with medium confidencepart in masterclass-style workshops, delivered by some of SA’s top creative leaders.

“As a professional dancer who has dedicated their life to the art of dance, I understand the importance of creating a platform to showcase our talent, since there is a lack of opportunity right now,” says professional Pantsula dancer Mada Sthembiso.

“We are calling on all creative talent in the region to submit their work for the opportunity to not only have it showcased to a global audience but also get the chance to develop their talents and learn from the best creative minds in the industry” explains Lianne Williams, head of marketing at Vuma. “Musicians, photographers, designers, artists, dancers, and social innovators are all invited to participate, share their ground-breaking creative projects with South African industries, and ultimately showcase why Soweto is such an amazing melting pot of creativity.”

In celebration of heritage month in September, the campaign will culminate with a world-class showcase of the work and uncovered talent, through the release and distribution of a beautifully printed directory of Sowetan creatives.

“In my career as a street artist I have realised that art is life, and life is art – and I live my life in Soweto through art. It is a great privilege to be collaborating with Vuma on the My Community Cooks campaign, and I’m looking forward to discovering and exploring Soweto’s content through visual art and more,” says world-renowned street artist, Senzo Nhlapo (Senzart911).

“We’re excited to collaborate with Vuma to shine a light on the amazing creative industries of Soweto, and use this platform to create meaningful opportunities for local talent,” says Mnikelo Mangciphu of the Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival. “Ultimately, My Community Cooks is an amazing exploration of the area, through the hearts and minds of some of its most talented artists, the community that shaped them and the meals that inspire them.”

The My Community Cooks programme will be opened to other communities throughout South Africa, so creatives across the country are invited to stay tuned to take advantage of the opportunity when it arrives in their region.

If you are a creative or social innovator in Soweto, submit your work to for a chance to be showcased.

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