This South African Organisation Empowers Young People Through Music, Theatre, and Dance
“Young people are able to build up confidence using the arts.”
A youth organisation called Positive Vibrations aims to change the lives of young people in South Africa through the arts.
It was founded by passionate young theatre practitioners Lungile Lebogang Maboe and Zandisile Dyantyi back in 2005, with the aim of empowering young, up-and-coming artists with skills that will enable their arts careers to flourish.
Maboe told Global Citizen that when she founded the organisation, her hope was to create learning programmes that would help those who wanted a career in the arts.
“The other idea was to promote for more learning through creative arts, performing arts, and arts education,” Maboe added.
Maboe said that the organisation, based in Chief Albert Luthuli Park in Gauteng, has a vital role to play in the development of young people in South Africa — by introducing them to the values that they can learn from disciplines like dance, singing, and acting.
“This would broaden their horizons and extend their interests in the life of the arts,” Maboe continued. “In this way Positive Vibrations contributes in developing a civil society and helps with moral regeneration in our country.”
Maboe said that, apart from the practical skills involved in dance, theatre, and singing in themselves, the arts also have a critical role in helping develop young people’s personal lives.
“Young people are able to build up confidence using the arts,” she said.
Maboe said that although it wasn’t easy promoting the arts, she was moved by the power the discipline has.
“This is not an easy task as the majority of our young people are not acquainted with the performing arts, apart from attending music concerts,” she said. “We therefore need to offer them an experience which has an obvious benefit to them, such as presenting prescribed works with which they often struggle.”
The method used by the Positive Vibrations team is one that connects the learner with a world they can only imagine, Maboe said.
“It also leads to greater understanding as the work has been concretised and actively simplified,” she continued. “Our aim is to present at least two prescribed works for the foundation and intermediate learners, thereby developing understanding and appreciating future audiences.”
Maboe said educators at schools have also been getting involved in the organisation’s projects.
“We work with teachers who arrange for their learners to attend such presentations,” she said. “Arts and culture is a learning area, and part of the teachers’ brief is to take their learners to experience the arts.”
“Our productions and programmes are educationally based… are in line with basic education curriculum context, and serve to mandate the objectives of education,” she added.
One of Maboe’s dreams is to stage a theatre production that will teach young people about South African heroes, like statesman and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela.
Her production would follow Mandela’s life from being a law student, to being a world-renowned and internationally-revered anti-apartheid hero.
“We want to acknowledge and celebrate the hero’s sacrifice and our struggle into a free, democratic rainbow nation,” Maboe said.
The Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 is presented and hosted by The Motsepe Foundation, with major partners House of Mandela, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Nedbank, Vodacom, Coca Cola Africa, Big Concerts, BMGF Goalkeepers, Eldridge Industries, and associate partners HP and Microsoft.