Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has committed to find ways to train and fund artists in Mpumalanga.

Mthethwa was addressing practitioners in the arts industry during an imbizo at Tekwane North Community Hall, near Mbombela.

Mtsetsephi Siboza is a veteran actor and trains about 150 young people in TV and radio acting in Mbombela.

Since 2016, she has produced a Siswati film and she is now finalizing a second one. However, she has expressed concerns about the lack of support and funding.

She says, in most cases, the talent she produces goes to waste. She has pleaded with the minister to assist them.

“We also want to see ourselves on the map, to become artists on TV even on radios. We suffer the consequences here in Mpumalanga. We want other children to be given an opportunity, especially our youth and also to explore and show their acting skills. We have got a lot of children with acting skills on stage on TV, on radios there are a lot, but there are no chances.”

Lucky Maseko from Nkomazi says artists from the province are forced to relocate to other provinces in search of greener pastures.

“I would really like to ask the Minister to assist us in bringing all the facilities in relation to filming like TV commission, NFVF offices Mzansi Golden economy for the people of Mpumalanga province.”

Mthethwa says the art industry has the potential to stimulate investments and create jobs. He says the issues raised by the artists will be attended to.

“We agreed that the wards around here will work together coordinate with the Department of Arts and Culture in the province and also intervene by playing our role in a sense that we point them in a right direction and up scaling, training of the artists and where possible get a way of funding them.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture in Mpumalanga is in the process of consolidating a database for all provincial artists in order to effectively work with them.