2015 Standard Bank Young Artists Announced



The National Arts Festival last night announced six young South Africans as winners of the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award. This marks the start of a new decade building on Standard Bank’s 30 years of sponsoring the Awards which was celebrated in Grahamstown this year.


The winners (from left to right) Nduduzo Makhathini, Athi Patra Ruga, Christiaan Olwagen, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Musa Ngqunqwana, Luyanda Sibiya

The number of winners who have received this accolade since 1984 now tallies up to 137.

The Award is made annually to young South African artists who are either on the threshold of national acclaim, or whose artistic excellence has enabled them to make international breakthroughs.

“The announcement of each year’s Standard Bank Young Artist Awards offers a window into the dynamic vibrancy with which South African artists continue to use their talents and skills to resolutely raise the bar on artistic excellence in South Africa” says Ismail Mahomed Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival.


The winners of the 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist Awards are:

Luyanda Sibiya for Dance

Nduduzo Makhathini for Jazz

Kemang Wa Lehulere for Visual Art

Musa Ngqunqwana for Music

Athi Patra Ruga for Performance Art

Christiaan Olwagen for Theatre


Standard Bank continues to pioneer and support initiatives that ensure platforms for the talented voices of our country’s young established artists. Over the past 31 years, this award has proven to be a flagship of its kind in the arts in South Africa. We look forward to see what the 2015 group of winners will add to our national arts treasury, both as ambassadors of and inspiration for a new generation,” said Hazel Chimhandamba, Head Group Sponsorship at Standard Bank.

Apart from a cash incentive, each of the winners will be featured on the Main programme of the 2015 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown (2 – 12 July 2015), where they will be given the opportunity to develop and première new works.