Stand a chance to win a fully paid undergraduate scholarship to study at an arts institution of your choice in South Africa!

Applicants with a keen interest in participating in the The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Nyoloha Scholarship Programme (NSP) 2023 should be on the lookout for the open call for applications, which will launch on the ACT website at in the latter part of January 2023.

The ACT Nyoloha Scholarship Programme (ACT NSP) is a partnership between ACT and Nedbank Arts Affinity that is sponsored by Nedbank and Sun International and was launched earlier this year. This joint initiative creates an opportunity to fund higher education for young South African performers and visual and digital artists. One successful applicant in each category, ie, performing arts and visual or digital arts, will receive a fully paid scholarship* to study at a tertiary or accredited South African arts institution of their choice.

The ACT invites applications from young people with matric between the ages of 17 to 25 years who want to study towards a performing, visual or digital arts degree and want to pave their way to a sustainable arts future.
The 2023 Nyoloha Programme includes a category for digital arts candidates. Visual and digital arts candidates should prepare to submit their portfolios as specified in the official application criteria while performing arts candidates should prepare to submit two audition videos fitting the criteria. Applicants must not be considered a professional artist or performer and must be registered with a tertiary institution or an accredited institution.

To qualify, applicants must have passed matric with a university exemption. Parental or guardian consent and a registration fee are required when applying to audition for a spot on the 2023 programme. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for virtual interviews via Zoom in the early part of next year. The programme comprises of online training and mentorship with industry heavyweights. Participants are required to engage actively and participate in tasks, which will be evaluated monthly using a rating system to choose the 15 programme finalists who will compete in a final performance showcase and visual or digital arts exhibition where the winners in each of the two categories will be revealed.

In Sesotho, Nyoloha means ‘rise’, and the ACT NSP is part of the new ACT strategy to educate, uplift and empower those wishing to make a career in the arts and culture sector.
By facilitating knowledge-creation opportunities through tertiary education and work experience in the arts industry, graduates are equipped with life and business skills so that they are career-ready and able to contribute to the growth and stimulation of the creative sector.

ACT and Nedbank scholarships have been available since 2009. ‘The ACT Nyoloha Scholarship not only provides tertiary opportunities for emerging artists, but the programme also nurtures their professional and individual development. The 2022 ACT Nyoloha Programme was highly successful and next year’s programme promises to unearth, highlight and reward the immense talent of our country’s youth’ says ACT interim CEO, Jessica Denyschen.

Fortnightly activities for the ACT NSP will be managed by ACT-appointed mentors who will engage regularly with mentees and provide professional support. In the final week of each month, the work undertaken by the mentees is rated as part of the short-listing exercise. Students who don’t make the ratings will continue with the programme, but they will not be eligible for the finals. The final week comprises of masterclasses facilitated by industry leaders and will be attended by the 15 finalists, culminating in a gala function to announce the two winners of a fully paid scholarship to study at an arts institution of their choice in South Africa.

ACT, together with long-term partner Nedbank and returning partner Sun International, strongly believes in helping to build a better, more educated and sustainable arts industry in South Africa. The ACT NSP rewards commitment, excellence and growth potential. In addition to the scholarships, it also offers research grants and the creation of an alumni network.

Diarise to visit in January 2023 to view the ACT NPS open-call details and start paving your way to a brighter future. #ACTnyoloha #actstrat #ACTSAtalent #NedbankArtsAffinity.

* Scholarship amount is dependent on the institution of choice and has a maximum limit of R350 000.