The festival organisers honoured distinguished guests, including MEC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture of the Eastern Cape, Xoliswa Tom; National Arts Festival Board Chairman Ayanda Mjekula; as well as Eastern Cape Premiere Noxolo Kiviet.
“The National Arts Festival becomes a significant activity for the province with regards to economic growth and job creation,” Kiviet said.
For the next 11 days the small town will be mesmerised with vibrancy. This year’s NAFest will put the spotlight on South Africa’s dynamic nation, focusing on exploring what it means to be a citizen in a democracy still finding its feet. Due to the festival coinciding with Grahamstown’s bi-centennial anniversary, themes will centre on significant moments in South African history, offering festival-goers a moment to reflect as the country’s history unfolds.
Speeches were followed by a performance from the Eastern Cape Ensemble who used various forms of indigenous dance, drama, and musical performances to compliment the focus of this year’s NAFest.
Special thanks was attributed to the NAFest’s sponsors, including Standard Bank, The National LotteryDistribution Trust Fund, the Eastern Cape government, the National Arts Council, the Sunday Independent, City Press and Mnet.
Tom added that without these sponsors, the average adult ticket would be priced at R300 as opposed to the subsidised price of R70.