Receiving a Standard Bank Young Artist Award is a pinnacle point: this is one of the most prestigious prizes offered to South African artists under the age of 35.
LEFT TO RIGHT: Sylvester Thamsanqa (Thami) Majela, Msaki, Mahlatsi Mokgonyana (Theatre Duo), Linda Sikhakhane, Billy Langa (Theatre Duo), LADY SKOLLIE, and Koleka Putuma. Photographer: Themba Mokase
This year’s winners join the ranks of a stellar collective that have become household names over the last four decades. Standard Bank Young Artist Award winners are cherished as national treasures, and many have gone on to find new audiences on the African continent and achieve international acclaim.
The 2022 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winners are:
- Visual Arts – LADY SKOLLIE
- Poetry – Koleka Putuma
- Theatre – Mahlatsi Mokgonyana and Billy Langa (Theatre Duo)
- Dance – Sylvester Thamsanqa (Thami) Majela
- Music – Msaki
- Jazz – Linda Sikhakhane
They have dreamt. They have laboured, sweated, cried… and then they have dreamed again. Late nights, early mornings, burning the candle at both ends. They have made, and re-made, and re-made. They have been divinely inspired. They have despaired. Through it all, they have remained dedicated to their craft – and they have triumphed. They have pursued excellence. They have built, brick by metaphorical brick. They are not just ‘creatives’; they are creators.
This group of artists from diverse fields represent a generation of South Africans who have given their all to a career in the arts. They have been in the trenches with their peers, and they have summited some peaks together too. But these seven artists also stand out from the crowd. Their work has already been recognised for its innovation, its bravery, its beauty, its truth. They have been around the block once or twice; they are not new to the game, although they still have youth on their side.
Standard Bank is proud to continue its mission as an investor in the arts and an enabler of artists. When it became the title sponsor of the National Arts Festival in 1984, Standard Bank took on the custodianship of the Young Artist Awards (which had been established three years previously). Since then, Standard Bank’s role as a leading corporate sponsor has made it an integral part of the South African arts landscape.
The relationship between the National Arts Festival and the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards remains vital to the impact of the awards: both on the careers of the recipients and on the country’s creative sector. Award winners will be given the opportunity to direct, perform or exhibit at the 2023 National Arts Festival, with substantial financial support provided through Standard Bank’s sponsorship.
Says National Arts Festival CEO, Monica Newton, “The 2022 Standard Bank Artists are a cutting edge and diverse group of creatives that are defining the South African cultural moment. We look forward to their fresh perspectives and original performances at the 2023 National Arts Festival. The awards have made it possible for hundreds of artists to be part of the National Arts Festival over the last 41 years and to take their careers to new heights. We would like to thank our partners Standard Bank for their ongoing commitment to the arts in South Africa.”
Standard Bank has continuously adapted to constantly changing economic, social, political, and cultural environments – and the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards are no exception, ensuring maximum benefits for the South African arts industry and proving to young artists that #ItCanBe.
For more information, please visit Standard Bank Young Artist Award.