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11, April 2017  – Johannesburg – Hundreds of school children from disadvantaged communities in Soweto and Benoni experienced the best of French arts and culture as they attended a special performance of renowned play, Tartuffe, at the Soweto Theatre this past Friday.

The performance is part of a national tour that has come about through a partnership comprising Total South Africa, the  French Institute of South Africa, Alliance Francaise South Africa,  BNP Group and Mazars. Believed to be best work French playwright Molière – often described as France’s own Shakespeare – the play is a production of the Fortune Cookie Theatre Company and acclaimed theatre director Sylvanie Strike.  

Nyameka Makonya, Sustainable Development Manager at Total South Africa says that heritage and arts are a key area of focus for Total South Africa and it continually seeks for ways to bolster the development of these areas  by identifying projects such as this one.

“When a company like Total has roots in France, a country steeped in a rich history of celebrating the creative arts and an inimitable flair for the refined, it was inevitable that the regional office located in the southernmost tip of Africa would mirror this cultural affection,” says Makonya .  Total South Africa was recently awarded the Long-Term Partnership Award by Business & Arts South Africa for its 20-year investment in Buskaid which includes a partnership with Buskaid Soweto String Academy – a programme which provides string music lessons to the impoverished and underprivileged youth from Diepkloof and neighbouring communities.

Another programme funded by Total South Africa through its corporate social investment programme is the Sibikwa Arts Centre which uses arts as a tool for community development, which aims to nurture and develop the creative talent of young people under the age of 35.

Total South Africa’s support of the Centre has enabled this community collective to perform at festivals around the country, and even across the globe, showcasing a new generation of young black ‘theater makers’. From dance and drama to music and visual arts, Sibikwa house a Saturday Arts Academy which serves as a bridge to institutions of higher learning, matching the competencies of graduates who are able to access university placement in South Africa.

While South Africa faces many social challenges, Total South Africa is all too aware of the pivotal role which the arts plays in developing the social fabric of any society, and remains committed to fostering the creative expression of generations

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