In Imbewu we Trust: an interview
On Thursday the 31st of August, the launch of the Imbewu Trust takes place in Cape Town. Sam de Romijn, co-founder, gives Naomi Meyer some background on the Trust.
Hi Sam, and thank you for making time for a chat. I’ve received an invite from you regarding the official launch of the Imbewu Trust. Do give our readers a little background about the trust.
The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organisation which was set up to develop and promote contemporary South African theatre and arts, as well as showcase South African theatre on an international stage. The Trust was founded by experienced director and teacher Paul Griffiths, who has worked extensively in South Africa and the UK, and myself (a seasoned theatre teacher, performer and stage manager), as well as accountant and business consultant Paul Dickson.
Please tell our readers about the SCriBE Scriptwriting competition – does it take place every year? How many entries did you receive this year?
This is the first competition and it will be an annual event. Although it was initially for Western Cape playwrights, we plan to open that up to a national level next year. We created the competition in line with our objective of promoting new contemporary theatre and providing a platform to a local playwright to have his or her work presented. The winning script will be produced by the Imbewu Trust for a run at Magnet Theatre from 23 October to 3 November.
From your perspective, how would you describe the state of the arts in South Africa?
The arts are facing funding challenges worldwide. We have an incredible pool of talent in South Africa that can dazzle international audiences, as we have recently seen with the likes of Tin Bucket Drum in New York and Mies Julie in Edinburgh. We need to continue to find innovative ways of raising funds, collaborating, sharing resources and ideas and continuing to do more of what we do brilliantly. Platforms such as the Imbewu Trust can play a role in helping to develop and nurture South African work.
What would the Imbewu Trust mean for your average Joe? Can the public contact the Trust if they are busy with some creative project, or what is the correct procedure to follow?
The idea of establishing contacts internationally is to help raise funds for South African artists to develop and nurture their work. We would align ourselves with international donors and start running programmes and funding creative projects which we would see benefitting the greater South African arts and theatre landscape. This is our first year and we have focussed on a few projects, such as the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition, which was open to all Western-Cape based writers. We will be opening this up nationally next year. As is the case with all funding platforms, there are restrictions and limitations in what we can support. People are welcome to contact us at email@example.com or visit www.imbewuarts.com for further information.