Art and Culture of South Africa

The arts and culture of South Africa is as rich and diverse as the country itself. From music, dance, and literature to South African theatre, the country is more than a cultural hub. It is the abode of some of the most ancient and finest art in the world. The Department of Arts and Culture of South Africa endeavors to safeguard and develop the country's cultural, artistic and linguistic heritage.

South African Arts---
Historically speaking, the art community makes up a very small percentage of the total population due to their limited education. With the lifting of the cultural boycott towards the end of the century, the South African artists got recognition in the international art world. Today South Africa is a storehouse of the oldest and finest rock paintings in the world in addition to the contemporary masterpieces and other works of arts and crafts that the country can be proud of.

During the apartheid era, there was a huge diversity in South African art. From landscape painting to abstract art and from personal issues to political issues, the artists portrayed a whole range of ideas.

South African Music---
South African music is characterized by a fusion of local ideas with influences from other countries. Right from the days of colonization, the indigenous people of the country were influenced by the westerners and adopted their musical instruments and ideas.

Today several pop and rock musicians have made their mark in the world of international music. Traditional music like Kwela of the forties and fifties are being redefined and even house music and techno-raves have found their individual variations in the local music culture.

South African Dance---
South Africa possesses a long tradition of fine classical ballet with the oldest dance company being the Cape Town City Ballet. In the post apartheid era in South Africa, dance has attained the status of the primary means of artistic expressions. South African dance is characterized by its vitality and has gained much international acclaim. An increasing number of dance companies and choreographers are being invited overseas to perform at different festivals.

Contemporary dance companies of South Africa include:

  • Jazzart Dance Theatre (Cape Town)
  • Free Flight Company (Johannesburg)
  • Moving Into Dance (MID)- (Mophatong)
  • the Soweto Dance Company,
  • the Napac and Pact Dance Companies

South African Theatre---
South Africa offers an endless variety of theatrical experiences, ranging from the indigenous drama, dance, music and cabaret to the classical opera, ballet, West End and Broadway hits. South African theatre has an international reputation for being unique and top-class.

Major performing arts companies in South Africa include:

  • State Theatre in Pretoria
  • Playhouse Company in Durban
  • ArtsCape in Cape Town
  • Market Theatre and Windybrow Theatre in Johannesburg.

South African Literature---
South Africa has some great writers and poets whose literary outputs have been acclaimed worldwide and have also won several major awards. These authors and poets have contributed greatly towards enriching the English literature.

Renowned literary geniuses of South Africa include:

•  Alan Paton

•  JM Coetzee

•  Allister Sparks

•  Nadine Gordimer

•  Zakes Mda

 

Get Aquainted with the Independence Day of various Countries
Argentina Australia Belgium Brazil Canada Columbia Costa Egypt France Germany
India Iran Ghana Kenya Macedonia Malaysia New Zealand Nigeria North Korea Norway
Pakistan Peru Russia Saudi Arabia Srilanka South Africa South Korea USA Zimbabwe