Nito Maluka

Kanyamazane Township, located on the outskirts of Nelspruit, is a place that offers its youth few inspiring options. Overwhelmed by the proliferation of social ills in his community, Nito Maluka decided to embody the change he wanted to see there. He began by simply sharing his passion for performance art with the youngsters in his neighbourhood and, 13 years ago, formed the Savuka Africa Youth Crew. Today Savuka has 126 members and 12 trainers. Maluka contends that the programme presents young people with positive activities that allow them to express themselves, embrace their culture and learn to make good decisions. Performance also acts as a form of therapy for disempowered young people. The organisation is funded entirely through the ingenuity of Maluka and those who work with him. His personal mantra: “Not all closed doors are locked. Knock” has resulted in his consolidating international support and artistic exchanges from Europe, Africa and the United States. — Taryn Mackay