When Ms Sibahle Khwela took on an arts administration internship at the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within UKZN’s College of Humanities, little did she know she would liaise with more than 100 authors selected to participate in this year’s Time of the Writer Festival (16-21 March) in Durban.
Khwela, who graduated cum laude with an undergraduate degree in Drama and Performance Studies from the Durban University of Technology (DUT), will be mentored by CCA Director Dr Ismail Mahomed and the Centre’s Senior Administrator and Poetry Africa curator, Ms Siphindile Hlongwa, who have extensive experience in festival design, curation and cultural leadership. ‘Sibahle is one of those rare people who walk into an internship programme and, within six weeks, takes full ownership of the project,’ said Mahomed. ‘She demonstrates a strong work ethic, professionalism and versatility. We are delighted to announce that we will extend her internship to March 2023 so that she can take on the role of curator of the 26th edition of the Time of the Writer Festival.’
Said Hlongwa: ‘There is a huge gap for Black women festival curators in South Africa. We believe that by extending her internship and granting her the opportunity to project lead and curate the 26th edition of the Festival, we can significantly contribute to opening up opportunities for Black South African women to take on festival curatorship roles.’
Speaking about her curatorship, Khwela said: ‘This is an opportunity to pursue my passion in curation and kick-start a career in the field of Arts. I aim to permeate the vacuum of black women curators in the industry and make a difference with the work I produce. I expect to grow and grasp as much as I can with a whole new perspective on curation. I plan to be a better curator than the one I came in as … and to challenge and be challenged.’
Khwela was the recipient of DUT’s Dean’s Merit Award 2020 and received 11 awards during her studies. Other awards include the Best Newcomer 2018, Leadership Award 2019 and the Versatility Award 2020.