Rustenburg Municipality Champions Musical Talent Development with COMFESA

In February 2024, the COMFESA North West International Symposium lit up Rustenburg, showcasing a wealth of local singing talent. At the heart of this cultural celebration was the Department of Local Economic Development at the Rustenburg Local Municipality, whose dedication and support played a pivotal role in the symposium’s success. This partnership between COMFESA and the Rustenburg Municipality exemplifies the potential of local government in fostering the arts, transforming lives, and strengthening communities through music.

Uniting Talents Across the North West Province

COMFESA NW Combined Rehearsal Feature Image
Onalerona Mogwera and Ntombi Mbuthuma rehearsing in preparation for the COMFESA North West Symposium.

The collaboration between COMFESA and the Rustenburg Local Municipality facilitated an extraordinary gathering of voices. Musicians from Klerksdorp and Rustenburg, two locations over 170km apart within the expansive North West province, were brought together to form a unified symposium choir. The symposium, co-sponsored by the municipality, offered a unique opportunity for local youth, many of whom are unemployed, to showcase their talents and passion for music.

The Journey to Klerksdorp

The climax of the preparations for the symposium—a dress rehearsal at the Matlosane NG Kerk in Klerksdorp—underscored the communal spirit and dedication of all involved. Acting Director for Local Economic Development, Nkonono Mantswe, alongside her colleagues Ntsoaki Khiba and Tebogo Mokgara, ensured the Rustenburg contingent’s participation, physically accompanying the choir members on the 350km return journey to Klerksdorp and showcasing the municipality’s commitment to this transformative project. Their presence at the rehearsal highlighted the importance of governmental support in the arts, and served as a testament to the municipality’s investment in cultural development and youth empowerment.

A Vision for the Future

The Municipality’s involvement in the COMFESA symposium goes beyond sponsorship; it represents a deeply rooted belief in the arts as a vehicle for social change and economic development. “This project creates memories, it reminds us of our upbringing where choral music was a fundamental part of our community,” Mantswe reflected. Her vision is clear: to nurture and commercialize local talent, ensuring that these opportunities for artistic expression and professional growth are not fleeting but form part of a sustainable cultural infrastructure.

A Call to Action

As COMFESA looks to the future, the success of the North West International Symposium stands as a powerful argument for increased investment in the arts. The partnership with the Rustenburg Local Municipality sets a precedent for how local governments can play a critical role in cultural revitalization. Yet, the journey does not end here. There is a pressing need for further support from corporates, foundations, and individuals committed to fostering South Africa’s rich musical heritage.

“The Rustenburg Municipality’s passion and advocacy for the arts have lit a path forward,” said COMFESA’s President, Lungile Jacobs, echoing the sentiment that this collaboration is just the beginning. “Together, we can ensure that the talents discovered and nurtured through the COMFESA symposiums continue to thrive.”

Watch the heartfelt statement from Nkonono Mantswe on our YouTube channel, and join us in supporting the next generation of South African musical talent. Let’s embrace this opportunity to make music a cornerstone of community development and a source of national pride!

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