Interview with Nokubonga Mabaso

In the lead up to the Newcastle Arts Festival Ireland on 14-15 August 2015, we have interviewed Nokubonga Mabaso who will be travelling with Dumisani Radebe as a representative of Newcastle Creative Network South Africa.

Tell us about yourself
I am a writer, poet, yoga teacher, and environmentalist and philosophy enthusiast. I am 25 years young, born and raised in Newcastle South Africa. I completed my higher education at the University of Cape Town majoring in Economics, Politics and Philosophy. I am passionate about development: artistic, community and self. I love reading, yoga , being in nature, learning, being challenged and dealing with new and different ideas.

When and where did your journey with art begin?
My journey with art has been literary in nature. I began reading books when I was about four/five years old. These books taught me a lot about arts and creativity. I remember my first art history project when I was about 9 or 10 years old in Primary School and had to research Michelangelo. I was inspired not only by the quality of his artworks, but by the dedication, excellence and commitment he had towards his craft and how it continues to the present day. Art really is an expression of the inner man, which we all have within us. The medium and message may differ but art really is inspirational.


What is your artistic expression?
I am a writer and poet. I lend my hand and heart to individual and community development. I am passionate about exploring alternative means of self-expression, self-exploration and living. I am all about holistic, creative development and I work to showcase alternative ideas and ideals through speech, motion and literature.

Tell us about your involvement with the Newcastle Creative Network
The nature of my involvement has been that of supporting the artistic vision and development of the network through collaboration, research and procurement. Helping to develop the community through creative endeavors by direct engagement with youth in townships has been a very rewarding experience for me.

Tell us about your trip to the Newcastle Arts Festival in Ireland
I will be leaving on Sunday the 10th of August. I am quite excited to be attending the Arts Festival overseas. The programme promises much in terms of the diversity of the artists and works. I will assist with the production of the festival in my first week, assisting local artists in their preparations and exploring different methods of working. During my second and third week after attendance of the festival, I will focus on engaging with artists and other stakeholders in Ireland. Scheduled workshops will provide great opportunity to cultivate the networks and relationships that we have built. I will get an opportunity to share the story and vision of the artists in Newcastle South Africa with an international audience and discuss meaningful ways for us to use our shared contexts to collaborate and strengthen our efforts and networks. As Newcastle Creative Network, we are passionate about seeing and assisting young people to excel in their endeavors and improve their communities. Our engagements with various stakeholders in Ireland will ensure that we identify and foster opportunities that benefit development through creative ideas and cultural innovation.

Any inspiring words for artists and art enthusiasts out there?
Creativity is not reserved for only a select group of people, i.e. artists each of us can be creative. This creative component within us deserves no less than to be cherished and cultivated. It is thus important for all of us to remain open minded and open hearted in the way that we view our immediate and wider surroundings. I think it is also important for us to allow our passions to fuel our creativity and development. We have an opportunity to share a unique gift with the world and we should exercise our freedom to allow us to discover our talents, follow our hearts and help others to follow theirs

Nokubonga Mabaso is a 25 year old female writer, poet, environmentalist , philosopher and yoga teacher. She graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Economics, Politics and Philosophy. She is a deep and critical thinker highly interested in synergy and the synchronicity between the subtle mental spaces and overt physical spaces. Her art is an exploration of the congruence between ancient and modernistic ideas and ideals with a view to engendering harmony within/amongst individuals and communities.


Two Newcastles: Searching for a shared context is a project produced by In South Africa by the Newcastle Creative Network in Kwazulu Natal in co-operation with the Newcastle Arts Festival In Ireland.
The project Two Newcastles: Searching for a Shared Context aims to stimulate the scope of visual art in the respective contexts and inspire each community through engagement with the other. Both the Newcastle Arts Festival, Northern Ireland and Newcastle Creative Network, South Africa have made the encouragement of young people into creative practice an important part of their work. NCN is passionate about seeing young people succeed in all their creative undertakings while changing their lives and enlivening the community for the better through their creative ideas and cultural innovation.
The project is envisaged as a point through which the two organisations (NAF and NCN) are to exchange expertise on how to encourage young and emerging artists within relatively disadvantaged and rural communities to reach further than what they believe is currently possible, both having recognised the potential of expanding the horizons of its artists and community by establishing collaborations with other Newcastle’s in the world and involving the greater international community in participating in the intercultural markets. In October the NCN is excited to host Peter Surginor and Austyn Finnegan in Kwazulu Natal.



SA Partners - without tagline


This project has been supported by the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa and the British Council.