Reclaiming, Restoring and Celebrating Heritage

At the launch of the 2016 Heritage Month celebrations in Sophiatown, Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa called upon the nation to support emerging South African artists who continue to lift the spirits of the nation.

This month, creative minds have the opportunity to lead the national agenda during Heritage month. Challenging creative minds to foster social cohesion, contribute to social consciousness while also advancing inclusive economic development will open doors for South Africa and its youth.

Based in the Eastern Cape, Activator, poet, writer and performing artist Zilungile Athenjwa Zimela is one of the many artists who are earmarked to be leading Heritage Day celebrations under the theme: ‘Reclaiming, restoring and celebrating our living heritage.’

The hard-hitting orator has worked with prominent artists like Nkqo, member of the famous Soul Clap Session; spoken word artist Baxolisi Mfidi, and fellow activator Singata Titsi Dabata. Zilungile has multiple art bases in Mthatha, East London and Port Elizabeth.

Zilungile uses her craft to challenge the so called “sensitive” social issues. She aims to inform, inspire and entertain her followers in the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng. Talking about life lessons she has learnt through the arts, Zilungile said: “Art has been very instrumental in this country. I use art to evoke and impart life changing ideas to move this country forward. I use art to change perceptions and persuade the different audiences, readers or listeners to consider exploring untapped unifying alternatives.”

Zilungile attributes part of her achievements to some ACTIVATE! Leadership personal training, network, inspiration and support. “Being with ACTIVATE! has helped me grow my public speaking skills and stage presence. I have always wanted to brand my work and ACTIVATE! has taught me project management skills and how to shape my dream. ACTIVATE! has a holistic and hands on approach to the information they impart to us. This information broadens our spheres of reasoning and outlook on life,” she said.

Talking about her medium to long-term plan, Zilungile said: “My medium term goal is to strengthen my new arts business adventure, The Soul Indaba Showcase Experience. The aim of the business is to uplift and promote local Eastern Cape arts to the entire country, the continent and the world. If all goes well, my long-term financial focus will not only bolster my own career but also aims to give back to young people from my home province, Eastern Cape.”

Besides being an artist, Zilungile does project management and marketing for an Eastern Cape based youth communication and leadership program. Some of her achievements include obtaining a silver medal at CASAC, earning the gold prize at a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college.


Listen to Zilungile Athenjwa Zimela talking about the power of arts

Those interested in working with Zilungile can contact her directly on: 0717764585 or 0782553378 or via email Her Facebook account is Zilungile Athenjwa Zimela. She also has a Facebook page: The Soul Indaba Showcase Experience. On Instagram, she is _NGILEVDH.

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