Nomsa Mazwai

Nomsa Mazwai, a 28-year-old from Soweto, refers to Emthonjeni Arts as her “baby”. The artists’ residency in the rural town of Hamburg includes a theatre, a gallery and dance and recording studios. The aim is to help with the economic regeneration of the small community. Mazwai was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2010 and, while studying for her master’s degree in Economics at Fordham University, she gave a presentation to the United Nations on behalf of South Africa on how to engage young people in the Millennium Development Goals. She also performed as a singer in the United States. Back home, she has been nominated for three Sama awards and has won one — for Best Adult Alternative African. She was the first female president of the Fort Hare University students’ representative council and has worked as a coordinator at the Nelson Mandela Institute, where she created educational progress opportunities for young people and students. — Writer: Ilham Rawoot l Photographer: Federica Dall’Orso