National Arts Festival through eyes of a Makhandan.

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Monday, 24th April 2023

For many years, the National Arts Festival has been a glimmer of hope for locals. Every year, the residents look forward to the vibe and entertainment that come with this annual celebration, along with the opportunities to earn an extra buck from busking.

During the festival, youth dance, sing, and stand on street corners mimicking statues in hopes that passers-by might be entertained enough to throw something into their hats. For some people, dropping a few coins into that hat isn't a big deal, but for that child, it means everything. The money can buy a few treats during the festival and even make a family go to bed with food in their stomachs. Dance is an integral part of township culture, and it encourages youngsters to do what they love while earning additional income. It also teaches them the value of money at a young age.

Makhanda has been the home of the National Arts Festival since 1974. Each year has prospects for new talent, which means that the locals have an opportunity to go from dancing on the streets to sharing the stage with well accomplished international artists. The festival attracts tourists from inside and outside the borders of South Africa. Every year, vendors who make traditional beads get a chance to sell their products to a wide market.

Most locals see celebrities on television with small chances of ever seeing them face to face; but the National Arts Festival is able to bring them to their doorstep. Some people would not be able to take their families on holidays to go and watch different shows, but the festival makes it possible for them to watch international headlining shows.

The National Arts Festival is one of the biggest annual celebrations of the arts on the African continent. To locals, it’s a period of jubilation, excitement, and discovery of new things beyond their horizon. So, the next time you visit Makhanda, just know that the ordinary people of Makhanda welcome and appreciate you, because your presence changes their lives.


The National Arts Festival will start on the 22nd of June 2023 until the 02nd July 2023.

For more reasons why you should come to the National Arts Festival this year visit:

Photo by: Admix Entertainment

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