Friday, 23 December 2011

Season's Greetings

Warm wishes from all of us at the Keiskamma Trust during this Christmas season, and many thanks to you, our friends and supporters for your ongoing generosity and partnership during the past year.

We are pleased to announce that it is now easier to donate directly to the Trust than ever before!

Please visit our webpage at click on “donate/help out” at the top of the page, or follow this link.

Donations are made via GivenGain, a non-profit organization that we are registered with, that connects causes and donors worldwide.Through them it is possible to set up monthly giving and to direct your donation to any of our programmes -Health, Art, Music or Education- and all funds are donated directly into our account each month.

Thank you for helping us continue to promote healthy and hope-filled communities in the Eastern Cape.

With best wishes for 2012 from the Keiskamma Trust Management Team.

Photographs: wire and bead Christmas stars and candle holders by Thobisa Nkani (Keiskamma Art Project - Ref WIRE011 - R29 and WIRE012 R49) - available in our shop in Hamburg and by special order at

Discover our new catalogue on the right side bar of this blog.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Carol Hofmeyr Wins Prestigious Award from University of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) recognises, on an annual basis, alumni who excel in their respective fields. This year was no exception.
The University honoured two successful alumni, with the UJ Alumni Dignitas Awards on Friday, 25 November 2011.

At the same event, the Council of the University honoured four recipients with the Ellen Kuzwayo Award, for their outstanding contribution to the higher education sector.

The Ellen Kuzwayo Council Award recognises outstanding contributions beyond the confines of teaching and research by individuals over an extended period of time, to promote the well-being of the higher education sector, as well as the well-being of society in respect of matters in which the University has a particular interest.

Ellen Kuzwayo Council Awards

From left to right : Prof Roy Marcus: Chairperson of Council, University of Johannesburg, Ms Sibongile (Bongi) Mkhabela (recipient) , Dr Duduzile Rosemary Mkhize (recipient), Mr Thomas Louw De Beer(recipient), Prof Ihron Rensburg: Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Johannesburg and Dr Carol Hofmeyr (recipient).

Dr Hofmeyr combines the skills of two very different genres in order to empower and enrich hundreds of people's lives in South Africa's Eastern Cape.

In 2000, she, as a medical doctor and a profoundly talented artist, initiated the Keiskamma Art Project with the aim of alleviating poverty and promoting self-esteem through art and creativity in this rural community.

While engaged in this project, she became intensely aware of the huge problem of HIV/AIDS in the area and of the many people dying without a diagnosis or any form of medical care.

Although she had been out of clinical practice for many years, she went back to work as a primary care medical officer in the Peddie South District clinics. Because people were either too ill or too poor to access the health system, she established a residential HIV programme in Hamburg on the Keiskamma estuary, by converting an old house into an AIDS treatment facility, which she named the Umtha Welanga (Rays of the Sun) Centre.

Dr Hofmeyr went on to train a team of over 30 village health workers to cover the entire area with support and advice on HIV/AIDS. She introduced antiretroviral therapy, initially using her own limited funds, and has established a model programme for the prevention, treatment, palliation and care of people with HIV/AIDS.

The Keiskamma Trust has been highly successful. The Trust believes that the battle against HIV/AIDS in rural South Africa cannot be won by medical intervention alone. The Keiskamma Trust exists to foster hope and health as well as pride and self-respect among the people living by the Keiskamma River, a desperately poor area of the Eastern Cape. By combining AIDS treatment, art projects such as the Keiskamma Altarpiece and the Keiskamma Tapestry and education initiatives, the Trust has been able to take the fight against Poverty and HIV/AIDS to the very heart of the community.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Keiskamma Christmas Concerts!

Along the Garden Route and Sunshine Coast

17-23 December

The concert programme will include Corelli's Christmas Concerto;
Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (arr by Daniel Hutchinson);
Traditional Xhosa Wedding Song (Ubuhle Bendoda);
Abdullah Ibrahim's Bra Joe;
Christmas Medley, and Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.

Concert programme

Sat 17 Dec: Hamburg Old Hall at 17h30
More info: Brenda Fishwick
073 087 7307

Mon 19 Dec: Grahamstown Cathedral Lunch Hour Concert at 13h00
More info: Brenda Fishwick
073 087 7307

Mon 19 Dec: Port Alfred "Richmond House" at 18h30
More info: Sue Gordon
082 456 7437

Tues 20 Dec: Private performance at an exclusive Game Lodge

Wed 21 Dec and Thurs 22 Dec
Knysna Waterfront: The Boardwalk 11h00-13h00

Thurs 22 Dec: Private performance at Fancourt

Friday 23 Dec: Turbine Hotel oyster bar (opening December 2011!)
and Island Café, Thesin Island, 12:30pm - 2pm
044 302 5746

The Christmas tour is funded by the Rupert Foundation
with support funding from BASA,
Alusani Skills and Training Network
and the HCI Foundation.

All of these organisations have given the group tremendousencouragement and support.

"I feel like I am flying,"
said student Simnikiwe Nkani after her first experience at conducting.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Big day for the Art Project!

The 1st of December 2011 was a big day for the Art Project with...

... the unveiling of the Rhodes University Tapestry at the Council Chamber in Grahamstown - with a special performance of the Music Academy.

Click here to download the brochure.

Professor Brenda Schmahmann at the unveiling of Rhodes University Tapestry

... the opening of the A.R.T. show at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg.

Click here to read more about A.R.T. show.