From a volunteer team driven by passion to an organisation that now employs over 1800 people in part-time and full-time employment, across the country.
On Saturday 2nd July, ASSITEJ SA hosted 90 children from around Makhanda to their 15th birthday celebrations. The event was held at Amazwi National Museum of Literature, during the National Arts Festival. It involved storytelling from the dynamic iStimela Sendaba storytelling team, indigenous games and Playback theatre by MEQOQO, based at Rhodes University, under the direction of Board Chairperson, Selloane (Lalu) Mokuku. The playback theatre allowed for children and young people to share their hopes and dreams about being 15. There were some moving moments as young people described how they were finding their voice through the arts.
The festival was an appropriate venue for the 15th birthday celebration, since this is where it all started, on 2 July 2007. Since that time, Assitej SA has grown from a small organisation with a volunteer team driven by passion, to an organisation that now employs over 1800 people in part-time and full-time employment, across the country. Since hosting the World Congress of the international ASSITEJ in 2017 (our 10th anniversary) in Cape Town – the first time that this massive, prestigious event was hosted on the African continent, we have become the official partners to the Department of Basic Education in the delivery of Creative Arts in schools. We have recently been successful in attracting Social Employment Funding, which allows us to employ 1650 people part-time in delivering arts activities for children across the country.
The story of ASSITEJ SA was told in a hybrid event for invited guests, hosted by Selloane Mokuku (Chairperson) and Yvette Hardie (Director). This event was also broadcast to members on Facebook Live and can be found on the ASSITEJ SA Facebook page.