The National Arts Festival (NAF) is a huge asset to our town. Not only does it transform Makhanda into a buzzing arts hub for 11 days of Amazing, it also contributes profusely to the town’s and province’s economy. According to Rhodes University’s Economics Department, NAF brings in R94 million to Makhanda and a total of R377 million to the rest of the province. This means more jobs for a lot of unemployed youth are created during this period. Something we should all celebrate!
For those who could not afford tickets, NAF offered a number of free shows and others at discounted rates on the Fringe programme. This allowed for more members of our community to enjoy shows. The Village Green free entertainment from various buskers was a wonderful addition enjoyed by many. The pop-up restaurants all over town were a delight, there were also free walk-in exhibitions at a large number of venues for everyone to enjoy. The Festival offers productions suitable for the whole family and NAF is definitely accessible to everyone.
During the course of the year NAF also contributes to Makhanda’s art development projects, the Creative City and Masicule, to name a few. Productions from Makhanda are also seen on stages and this year we saw the theatre world premiere of the Gruffalo in IsiXhosa performed by Makhanda artists.
Congratulations to the NAF team for the hard work they put in at this year’s Festival. They brought 286 productions on the Main programme and 338 on the Fringe, with 18 countries represented – an incredible feat.
Thank you Tony Lankester and your amazing team for contributing so handsomely to our community and making Makana marvellous! We think you all rock!
- From the Rhodes University Community Engagement (RUCE) Team.