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ACT announces winners of Lifetime Achievement and ImpACT awards

The Lifetime Achievement and ImpACT award winners of the 15th annual Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Awards were recently announced at the Fairway Hotel & Spa in Johannesburg. The ACT Lifetime Achievement awards honour arts professionals whose extraordinary careers have had a profound and lasting impact on arts, culture and heritage.
Four highly regarded industry veterans received Lifetime Achievement awards for their contribution to the arts. They are author Nadine Gordimer for the newly inaugurated Literature award, Welcome Msomi for Theatre, Andrew Verster for Visual Arts and Jonas Gwangwa for Music.

Msomi is perhaps best known as the founder and director of the Izulu Dance Theatre and Music Company established in 1965 in Durban. He has won international acclaim as a playwright, choreographer and director. Verster's imagination has touched people through his short stories, articles and radio plays, but his most significant contribution is to South African visual arts through his body of work spread over more than fifty innovative top quality solo exhibitions.

Important to acknowledge achievements

Gwangwa, a Soweto-born product of the turbulent, but musically significant 1950's, electrified the famous Sophiatown music scene. Gwangwa, with his contemporaries Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Caiphus Semenya, is undoubtedly one of South Africa's living legends of music.

"ACT is in a unique position to reflect on, and celebrate, the extraordinary lives and achievements of these worthy recipients. We are truly privileged to be presenting the ACT Awards in association with partners and our generous sponsors who not only share our vision, passion and commitment but recognise the importance of acknowledging the achievements of individuals who make such significant contributions to the advancement of South African arts and culture," commented Pieter Jacobs, CEO of ACT.

Also presented were the ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals. These awards honour young professional artists whose work has made an impact within the first three years of their professional careers. The awards went to Phillip Dikotla in the Theatre category, The Muffinz in the Music & Singing category, Bambo Sibiya, in the Visual Arts category and Ozlo, South Africa in the Design category.

Artist, poet and comedian

Dikotla is a 22-year-old, multi-disciplined performance artist, poet, comedian and writer who graduated from The Market Theatre Laboratory in 2010. He develops plays in workshop environments, writes, and performs in many theatre plays and he is a founding member of Arch Entertainment. The Muffinz, an eclectic soul group was formed in 2010 when Mthabisi Sibanda, Simphiwe Kulla and Sifiso Buthelezi met while singing in the University of Johannesburg Choir. Karabo Moeketsi and Gregory Mabusela joined them in 2011.

Visual artist Sibiya completed his fine art studies at the Benoni Technical College and the Artist Proof Studio. He has since participated in several art exhibitions, including the Artist Proof Studio Art Exhibition (2009), 30 Art Works, Springs Art Gallery and a Spier Arts Exhibition. He was a finalist in the Absa L'Atelier competition, received a Merit Award at the Ekurhuleni Art Awards (2010) and recently made his international exhibition debut in a show in Abu-Dhabi.

Ozlo South Africa is the fashion label created by Jabu Mdluli who studied Graphic Design at The Open Window School of Visual Communication. At the beginning of 2012 Mdluli opened an Ozlo Clothing Store in the Maboneng precinct of Johannesburg.