« L’Afrique du Sud célèbre les Arts et la Culture »
Total South Africa has its roots in France, a country steeped in a rich history of celebrating the creative arts and an inimitable flair for the refined, it was inevitable that the regional office located in the southernmost tip of Africa would mirror this cultural affection.
From the intricate choreography of Angelin Preljocaj and the musical treats of Fete de la Musique to the recent tribute to world renown maverick artist Henri Matisse and more recently, the satirical comedy Tartuffe, Total South Africa continues to revel in the artistic French persuasion, even here on local soil.
The arts and cultural heritage are important for the company as it recognises that much of South African history has birthed generations of young and old storytellers who find expression in fine arts and the performing arts, imbuing the local creative landscape with a texture, a hue and sound all its own.
One such example is Total South Africa partnership with Buskaid Soweto String Academy which offers string music lessons to the impoverished and underprivileged youth from Diepkloof and neighbouring communities. Over the past ten years, Buskaid has developed a core group of young skilled string teachers who support and develop the musically impassioned youth who find their way through the Centre’s doors just about every day.
The Ensemble actively pursues opportunities for the senior string player to perform at formal concerts, providing them with remuneration – a fixed income these musicians would otherwise not have access to, to support their families. Among the more memorable performances for Buskaid Soweto String Academy are those shared with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra delivering the unmistakable local sounds of township melodies and harmonies blended with classical compositions – a feast for the ears! For its 20-year investment in Buskaid, Total South Africa was recently awarded the Long Term Partnership Award by Business & Arts South Africa, a worthy and hard-earned acknowledgement.
Another programme funded by Total South Africa through its corporate social investment programme is the Sibikwa Arts Centre which uses arts as a tool for community development, which aims to nurture and develop the creative talent of young people under the age of 35.
Total South Africa’s support of the Centre has enabled this community collective to perform at festivals around the country, and even across the globe, showcasing a new generation of young black ‘theater makers’. From dance and drama to music and visual arts, Sibikwa house a Saturday Arts Academy which serves as a bridge to institutions of higher learning, matching the competencies of graduates who are able to access university placement in South Africa.
While South Africa faces many social challenges, Total South Africa is all too aware of the pivotal role which the arts plays in developing the social fabric of any society, and remains committed to fostering the creative expression of generations to come.