Paving the way for rural artists with disabilities to showcase their talents

The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) is helping to develop rural artists with disabilities through a series of activities.

Lack of opportunities inevitably increases the chances of unemployment among persons with disabilities. The NCPD’s aim with the programme is to create opportunities, develop and, where possible, turn talent into income-generating careers for artists with disabilities living in rural areas where accessibility tends to be a problem.

“The NCPD is aware of these artists’ challenges; hence the decision to travel into rural areas and search for talent. We unconditionally believe in the abilities and talents of artists with disabilities and we also believe that the country understand that artists with disabilities deserve equal opportunities,” said NCPD national director Therina Wentzel.

The talent hunt started in the Free State in 2016 and talent shows continued this year in Kimberley, Upington, Kuruman, Springbok and Port Nolloth. The shows were funded by the National Lotteries Commission and presented by Casual Day ambassador Jonathan Groenewald, also known as 2J Harmonix, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of two and who uses a wheelchair to get around. Groenewald has been working with Casual Day to promote equality and awareness for persons with disabilities.

“We chose to focus on rural areas because good talent often goes to waste in the more remote areas, where opportunities are lacking. The NCPD wants to open as many doors as possible for talented artists, regardless of where they come from,” he said.

Talent show winners and other selected artists will get the opportunity to perform at corporate and government functions to showcase their talents. They will also be promoted through social media, have access to mobile recording studios and get the chance to be advocates for persons with disabilities through their art.

The NCPD is a non-profit organisation that funds the services it offers through donations, partnerships, BBBEE work, using Section 18 A services (tax incentives for charitable work) and fundraising through life-changing campaigns such as Casual Day, which takes place annually on the first Friday of September.

Note:

The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) relies on funds from the proceeds of the National Lottery. The Lotteries Act guides the way in which NLC funding may be allocated. The intention of NLC funding is to make a difference to the lives of all South Africans, especially those more vulnerable, and to improve the sustainability of beneficiary organisations. Available funds are distributed to registered and qualifying non-profit organisations in the fields of charities; arts, culture and national heritage; and sport and recreation. By placing its emphasis on areas of greatest need and potential, the NLC contributes to South Africa’s development.

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Able online

Hi, I’m Able the Casual Day mascot and ambassador for disability. I encourage you to see the ABILITY in people and not the dis-ABILITY. We’re all able, we can all live our fullest lives if the barriers are removed. Join me each year, on the first Friday of September and raise funds to support organisations that render services in the field of disability. This year Casual Day falls on Friday, 1 September. Your donation of R10 for a sticker makes a difference and improves lives all across South Africa.

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