The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture has called for more cooperation between the Department of Arts and Culture and Ifa Lethu Foundation to remedy lingering funding challenges the institution is facing. The Committee finds it undesirable that many governmental departments, as well as agencies, continue to exhibit an inclination to work in silos. 


“We encourage the breaking of walls that continues to prevent corporative governance. We must work together to ensure that the little resources we get go an extra mile while making maximum impact,” said Ms Xoliswa Tom, the Chairperson of the Committee. 

Ifa Lethu Foundation was briefing the Committee on its strategic plan and performance since its establishment. Founded in 2005, the main objective was to repatriate South Aafrican “lost” heritage from the Struggle era. The foundation has so far repatriated over 501 works from 16 countries and this activity is still ongoing. 


Another important pillar of the organisation is its developmental outlook which looks at creating entrepreneurs, youth development, skills transfer and the creation of sustainable employment. It is this pillar of work that requires more funding to enable the institution to properly implement its five-phase development programme it runs together with the School of Entrepreneurship at the University of Pretoria. 


One youngster who has benefited from the programme run by the foundation is Mr Michael Selekane from Mpumalanga. The foundation discovered Mr Selekane in Mabopane, outside Pretoria in 2007. From an improvised background, Mr Selekane says since he was discovered, he has achieved a lot of things. 


“I am grateful for the help that CEO of Ifa Lethu Dr Narissa Ramdhani has given me. Today I have completed a BTech in Fine and Applied Arts funded by Ifa Lethu. I have held solo exhibitions in Grahamstown, Sandton and at the Pretoria Art Museum,” said Mr Selekane. 


Dr Ramdhani said she regards Mr Selekane as Africa’s Picasso. “As a Global Youth Ambassador, he is assisting us in rolling out many community outreach programmes focused on the youth,” Dr Ramdhani said. 


These programmes include the “Art in Healing” programme rolled out in Soshanguve aimed at training youngsters with special needs. 


The Committee welcomed the great work done by the institution and urged it continue its engagements with the department to ensure increased funding. 


Malatswa Molepo, Parliamentay Communication Services