The inaugural RBI Arts Festival, which took place from Friday 1 December to Sunday 3 December 2023 at Lebone II College of the Royal Bafokeng, was a huge success.

It culminated into a vibrant celebration of the extraordinary talents and creativity of emerging young artists ranging from Grade 8 learners to unemployed youth from the community of Phokeng. The festival showcased an impressive display of skills across various art forms, including theatre, film, poetry and visual arts. And it was a unique opportunity for these young creators to display their work, gain exposure, and interact with a wider audience.

The 2023 theme of the festival, ‘Art of Inclusion’, highlighted the borderless nature and inspirational power of the arts. This theme was a testament to the festival’s deeper mission beyond just showcasing art. It was a conscious effort to foster an inclusive environment where all young artists, irrespective of
background, identity, and abilities, were given respect, value, and equal opportunities to thrive in the arts. The RBI Arts Festival’s commitment to inclusion is a crucial aspect, especially in the context of how vital imagination is in the arts.

Key highlights of the Festival included:

  1. Live theatre performance of Moitoi, a story about the one who bewitched herself – a beautiful girl who, through trials and tribulations, becomes blinded to her spiritual gifts. An army of ancestors sends her help through Masana – who is her spiritual anchor. Masana transports her to the ancestral plain, where she is assisted to tap into her resilience. The story is told through a combination of African music and poetry. The Audience should expect to see captivating costumes, jewellery and art pieces made by local creators that form the backdrop for this beautiful production.
  2. Film screenings: A selection of short films were screened including Find me
    by the river which was nominated in the African Movie Academy Awards in
  3. Find me by the river tells the story of an impoverished 17-year old girl who optimistically starts of her high school journey unaware of the changes ahead. An art exhibition of works of local young artists took place on days 2 and 3 of the Festival. Over 25 fine art pieces were exhibited.

    RBI would like to thank the participating secondary schools: Bafokeng, Keledi, Kitsong, Lebone II College of the Royal Bafokeng, and Matale, as their commitment to nurturing young talent and promoting the arts was invaluable during the RBI Arts Festival.

    Click here to watch a video catalogue of the 2023 festival.

    Plans for the RBI Arts Festival for 2024 are already underway. RBI has recruited learners from accross 12 RBN schools both public and private. With the help of experienced art teachers we will experience the growth of the Festival into five regional festivals that will culminate into a bigger festival in the Capital Region at the end of the year.

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