2017 Highlights from South Africa
29 December, 2017
In April, eKhaya eKasi hosted its annual literacy camp for children and adults, featuring movement, dollmaking and storytelling activities culminating in the dress rehearsal of the Wizard of Oz. Check out photo and video coverage in our previous blog post.
The center hosts an increasing number of international tourists thanks to our partnership with Uthando Social Development Projects, specializing in socially conscious tours. Groups such as Major Voices perform for the center’s daily visitors, providing life-sustaining income to young artists. Guests also shop at the center’s art boutique, generating funds for artisans participating in our training programs.
eKhaya eKasi was pleased to welcome Kadir Nelson, award-winning children’s book illustrator and frequent contributor to the cover of The New Yorker. The center’s multicultural children’s library has several of Nelson’s books in its collection, including one that staff had translated into Xhosa! He graciously read the book aloud in English, accompanied by Education Director Nomfundo Yaso, who shared the Xhosa version.
eKhaya eKasi’s JAZZ Café serves an increasing number of lunch meals to tour groups interested in authentic face-to-face cultural and social exchange. Nomfundo proudly displays one of the most popular traditional items on the menu, the center’s famously fluffy Steamed Bread.
Older children from the After School Arts Program were invited to a special drama workshop at Artscape Theatre in Cape Town and wowed the workshop leader with their focus and range of expression.
For the 5th consecutive year, eKhaya eKasi Center was selected to participate in the world’s largest juried folk art market in Santa Fe. The remarkable beaders of Khayelitsha came of with stunning new designs, and sales increased by 50%. Director Lulama Sihlabeni made the trip from South Africa to represent, and again received extraordinary support from Board Member Edwardo Herrera. We appreciate you both!
Multitalented Xola Ncethani has joined the eKhaya eKasi family this year wearing numerous hats. He provides computer technical support, directs a vocal group, and makes presentations to visiting international guests about local music.
eKhaya eKasi sponsored Xola to receive training from Harmony Music Foundation with the goal of becoming the music education representative in Khayelitsha. In the process, Harmony Music’s staff was so impressed with Xola’s talent that they are assisting him in producing a CD and music video. Shown here, Xola performs for a video shoot. eKhaya eKasi will launch Xola’s debut CD in 2018.
Through a special partnership with Eyes On Africa, eKhaya eKasi hosted a special “See Party,” providing reading glasses to 350 senior citizens, many of whom had never before owned spectacles.
On December 1st, eKhaya eKasi held the area’s largest World AIDS Day event, with 25 presenting organizations sharing life-saving information to hundreds of community members. Over a hundred participants received free HIV, TB and health screenings. Here the eKhaya eKasi Team poses with shirts they printed for the event, with funding from Uthando.
We were especially impressed with the tremendous turnout of local youth, who now can dispel myths and provide accurate information to their peers.
With eKhaya eKasi’s 10th anniversary upcoming, next year promises lots of excitement. For a sneak peek at plans for 2018, click here.