South African Cultural Observatory

Young academics benefit from SACO scholarship programme

BY 28.02.18

THE cohort of young academics conducting creative economy research is expanding thanks to the South African Cultural Observatory’s (SACO) successful scholarship and bursary scheme which has supported a total of 16 young scholars since 2015.

The programme targets young academics completing postgraduate degrees in arts, culture and heritage-related topics.

For the 2017/18 period, the SACO awarded seven scholarships worth more than half a million Rand. These scholarships were awarded to three honours, three masters and one doctoral student from the Universities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Rhodes and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

“The fundamental role that creativity and culture plays in the growth and development of the knowledge economy is often overlooked. Because of this, scholarship in these sectors remain chronically under-funded.

“The SACO seeks to remedy this and meet a real need for research to better understand the creative economy through our  dynamic scholarship programme which supports young academics interested in the creative and cultural industries,” said Prof Richard Haines, SACO chief executive.

Jane Thandi Mampane from the University of Pretoria was awarded an honours scholarship.

Her research paper entitled “Selling Black Beauty: Drum, Beauty Products and Black Consumers, 1950 -1960” explores how racial history and social stratifications dominated the ‘black beauty industry’ in South Africa during the 1950’s and examines how this beauty industry continues to influence contemporary culture.

“The historical racial notions that are attached to beauty identities are the underlying factors that make up the markets of beauty products for black consumers. I wanted to explore how skin lightening and hair straightening products were identified as gateways for people to attain social, economic and political privileges in a racially divided society,” Mampane said.

Mampane submitted her final research paper in December. “The SACO scholarship helped me enormously. I am from a poor economic background and would not have been able to afford to do my honours without the SACO’s support. This scholarship opened up my doors to even bigger aspirations,” she said.

Masters scholarship holder, Jean-Pierre Lesch, from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, is researching the importance of investing in the arts and culture industry in smaller South African municipalities. His research highlights the South African government’s role in prioritising arts and culture activities in the country – particularly within the Saldanha Bay Municipality.

As a performing artist and resident of Saldanha Bay, Lesch is exploring how pressure from interest groups and organisations may compel government to invest more resources and funding into arts and culture development.

“Investment in the arts and culture sector can help to boost South Africa’s economy. People often don’t realise the role this sector can play in generating jobs for the youth of the country.  This research is important to me as I personally know the struggle of actors and other performing artists. My research will provide information that will help small municipalities lobby for more support from government for arts and culture development,” Lesch said.

“The SACO scholarship helped me tremendously. It has allowed me to further my education and at the same time concentrate on an issue that I believe has been overlooked for too long,” he added.

The SACO is a project of the Department of Arts & Culture (DAC), hosted by the Nelson Mandela University in partnership with Rhodes and Fort Hare Universities.

SACO recognized and cited by the UNCTAD SACO recognized and cited by the UNCTAD

The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) was given a boost with last week’s release of the UN’s Creative Economy Outlook and Country Profile report, giving the institution a fitting recognition.

READ MORE
New administrator joins SACO team New administrator joins SACO team

THE South African Cultural Observatory welcomes Rene Derrocks to the team as the incoming new administrator. Rene has eight years’ experience in the tourism marketing environment.

READ MORE

Meet the new SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director Meet the new SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director

MEET the new SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director Unathi Lutshaba. Miss Lutshaba is a passionate economist and sociologist. She was recently appointed into the role of Executive Director of the South African Cultural Observatory, after two years as its Research Manager.

READ MORE
Cultural conference pulls creative economy into sharp focus Cultural conference pulls creative economy into sharp focus

DAY two of the South African Cultural Observatory’s (SACO) 2018 international conference delivered on its promise of deep analysis and critical and creative debates on the future of South Africa’s and the world’s creative economy. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, over 200 delegates swelled Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium for the second day of the cultural think-tank’s creative industry conference. Tens of women from across the country and continent contributed to the conference proceedings covering a range of topics related to the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) and arts, culture and heritage (ACH) sectors.

READ MORE

More News
State Theatre mourns death of Sibusiso Khwinana State Theatre mourns death of Sibusiso Khwinana

The council, management and staff of the South African State Theatre has learnt with shock about the death of actor, playwright, and director Sibusiso Khwinana. He was killed during an alleged robbery incident on Friday, 1 March 2019.

SACO's Employment Report Cited by Gauteng Premier Mr David Makhura SACO's Employment Report Cited by Gauteng Premier Mr David Makhura

The South African Cultural Observatory's Employment Report was referenced in the Gaurteng State of the Province Address by Mr David Makhura.

Opportunity open for creative entrepreneurs Opportunity open for creative entrepreneurs

The British Council in partnership with Seed Academy and the Social Enterprise Academy are recruiting 120 creative social entrepreneurs in Cape Town and Johannesburg to take part in a fully-funded, high impact business accelerator programme. Applications open on Monday 18 February.

Strauss & Co’s benchmark sale of contemporary art returns to the V&A Waterfront Strauss & Co’s benchmark sale of contemporary art returns to the V&A Waterfront

Strauss & Co is pleased to announce the second of its contemporary art sales, the only such sale in South Africa devoted exclusively to this exciting category. The announcement of this 107-lot sale, due to be held on 16 February during the run of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair (15 – 17 February), coincides with news that Jack Ginsberg, noted Johannesburg collector and philanthropist, has joined the board of Strauss & Co.

Original Woza Albert! Comes to State Theatre Original Woza Albert! Comes to State Theatre

Performers and storytellers extraordinaire, the dynamic and renowned original actors of the internationally acclaimed South African classic Woza Albert! Mbongeni Ngema and Percy Mtwa, together with their original crew, have regrouped to stage this world-class form of protest theatre once more, and they are headed to the South African State Theatre this March 2019.

Connect with us