Entertainment

MDANTSANE ARTS PIONEER’S MISSION TO UNEARTH TALENT

Xolani Sibuta (in the background playing a keyboard) with his son Libulelo in the garage which they use for practicing

Pic by: ECN

In most cases talent alone does not achieve much, many of those who have made it in their respective careers will attest to the fact that perseverance and hard work is also required in order to realise a dream.

This is the case with Xolani Sibuta, a self-taught performing artist who continues to make a difference in his community despite his disadvantaged background and poverty stricken surroundings. Involved in the arts since the early 80’s, Sibutha is as determined as when he started out, to take arts in the Eastern Cape to another level.

Coming from the boxing crazy township of Mdantsane, one would not expect his choice of career, especially given that those were the days when boxing reigned supreme in the whole province, but Sibuta loved the arts. After years of perseverance things started to take shape and doors started to open for him and so many young people around his area.

“I started dancing in 1983 and began to identify my professional career in 1990 when I formed the Border Youth Theatre which gave birth to the Guild Theatre Dance Company, that ran for more than 15 years. I got my inspiration from the then Johannesburg Dance Foundation which led to me forming my first professional dance group called Buffalo Dancers.”

This all-rounder choreographer, instrumentalist and composer has performed not only locally but overseas as well, and is not only limited to performing arts but he is also a born leader.

“The highlight of my career was performing in theatre and dance at the International Festival in Pakistan, Jordan and Greece. In 1995 I was requested by government to be part of a task team to develop the Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture. In 1997 I was appointed as a Senior Cultural Officer in the provincial office and later as a principal cultural officer in the Amathole District Office, a position I still hold today,” he said.

At the moment his main focus is to develop music and local talent, and  is busy helping groups and individual artist to record music in the province.

“There is a backlog in creating and supporting music in the province which is caused by lack of resources, facilities and local promotional events, this has created an exodus by local talent to bigger cities like Gauteng. One of my mission is to try and change the situation, that is why I am always on the lookout for new talent because I want to keep the local flag flying high in the arts,” he said.

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