Breathing life into the written word

Silindile Nkosi reads from her novella, 'Love Tinted Glasses', during the Newcastle Townships Arts Festival in 2014, as part of the Reading Room Initiative.

Time has served the Newcastle Creative Network (NCN) well.

From initial meetings on the lawns of the Newcastle Public Library, the organisation has grown in strength and stature, and now welcomes a new member to the team.

Phakeme Dladla has worked with NCN for the past three months.

Organisers and fellow members describe him as energetic and a perfect fit for the team, with interests in photography and cinematography.

He is also the driving force behind the Reading Room Project.

Initiated in October 2014, during last year’s Newcastle Townships Festival in Madadeni, the project promotes the love of literature through locally scribed stories with a life orientation outlook.

This project is in conjunction with Fundza.

For more information on the Reading Room Project, contact Phakeme on 083 512 4868.

The two answers which confirmed Phakeme’s fit into the NCN were as follows:

What excites you about NCN?

NCN plays a huge role in Newcastle when it comes to making art visible. The network is led by hardworking and humble beings who have all been very welcoming. I love the fact the network is passionate about seeing young people succeed and in changing young people’s lives for the better. The great thing about the network is the workshops they run, introducing young people to basic skill in creative methods not offered in schools.

What excites me most about NCN is the fact that they empower youth through art and play a huge role in our community in terms of cultural activities. Their passion about empowering youth excites me more.

Your vision for NCN

My vision for NCN is to see it grow as an organisation; by growing I mean more exposure in the community, more sponsors, and making sure the organisation is well-known and established in the minds of all people of Newcastle. I would love to see the organisation host an even bigger festival than the one in 2014. I want to see more young people getting involved when it comes to part in the town. Personally, I would love to grow as a designer, photographer and artist through NCN. As a personal project, I wish for NCN to have more libraries and reading rooms around the community.

NCN must have more studios and homes during the festival than they have right now – that is my vision for this organisation.

Bruce Douglas

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