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The National Arts Festival on Tuesday night named an unprecedented eight young South Africans winners of the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award, bringing to 125 the total number who have been honoured since Standard Bank began sponsoring the Awards three decades ago.  

The 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. “Celebrating excellence, innovation and a refined technical skill and artistry rests at the heart of the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards. Each of this year’s winners represent the vibrancy and sophistication with which South Africa’s artistic and cultural legacy continues to be enriched” said Festival Artistic Director, Ismail Mahomed.
Njabulo Madlala
 Njabulo Madlala, 2014 music winner

The Awards include, for the first time since inception, a prize shared by siblings in a single category, with photographers Hasan and Husain Essop being named joint Visual Art winners. The brothers have been collaborating since their graduation from the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town, and will stage a new joint exhibition in Grahamstown next year. “It is also only the sixth time since the start of the awards that a prize has been given in the ‘Film’ category, and we are delighted that we can include that on our roster of winners together with our newest award category for ‘Performance Art’, which was instituted last year,” Mahomed said. “Quite often we have had to present a smaller, refined list of winners – this time we wanted a full slate, covering all the key genr es celebrated by the National Arts Festival in anticipation of our double anniversary celebrations in 2014.”

 Hasan and Husain Essop, 2014 visual art winner

Next year, apart from being the 30th year Standard Bank have sponsored the Award, the Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary.
Jahmil XT Qubeka

Jahmil XT Qubeka, 2014 film winner

The winners of the 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist Awards are:
Jahmil XT Qubeka for Film
Nicola Elliott for Dance
Kyle Shepherd for Jazz
Hasan & Husain Essop for Visual Art
Njabulo Madlala for Music
Donna Kukama for Performance Art
Greg Homann for Theatre

greg homann
Greg Homann, 2014 theatre winner

“Standard Bank deeply values the contribution we can make through the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards to the continued growth of South Africa’s artistic legacy. Our association with these prestigious awards dates back to 1984 when Standard Bank first became a sponsor of the National Arts Festival and has endured for 30 years to see the trajectory of the most amazing talent over the years. We celebrate the success of all past and present winners and wish them well in their careers,” said Hazel Chimhandamba, Head of Group Sponsorships at Standard Bank.

Donna Kukama
Donna Kukama, 2014 performance art winner

Apart from a cash prize, each of the winners will be featured on the Main programme of the 2014 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown (3 – 13 July 2014), where they will be given the opportunity to develop and première new works.

Nicola Elliot

Nicola Elliott, 2014 dance winner
About The Standard Bank Young Artist Awards:
The Young Artist Awards were started in 1981 by the National Arts Festival to acknowledge emerging, relatively young South African artists who have displayed an outstanding talent in their artistic endeavours. These prestigious awards are presented annually to deserving artists in different disciplines, affording them national exposure and acclaim. Standard Bank took over the sponsorship of the awards in 1984 and has presented Young Artist Awards in all the major arts disciplines over their 30-year sponsorship, as well as posthumous and special recognition awards. The winners feature on the main programme of the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown and receive financial support for their Festival participation, as well as a cash prize.
Kyle Shepherd, 2014 jazz winner

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