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PROF SNEDDON AS PATRON (article first published : 2001-11-22)

Professor Elizabeth Sneddon – 94 and as redoubtable as ever - whose accomplishments over a long and rewarding career defy chronological or sequential listing, has graciously accepted the award of Patron of the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa. At a recent meeting held in Grahamstown, the Society acknowledged its indebtedness to Professor Sneddon for “her passionate and highly successful endeavours to bring to generations past, present and future, the embodiment of her Philosophy of Education”.

In its 13th year, the National Creative Arts Youth Festival, was founded by Professor Elizabeth Sneddon. The Arts – music, dance, visual art, literature and drama - become a vital channel for Youth, “using the medium of their choice as fundamental educational tools to nurture and develop Skills for Life. Such skills include a sense of responsibility, the ability to think creatively and in a problem solving manner, the capacity to act independently and confidently, and the means for personal, creative expression”.

Twelve years ago the Brush Up Your Shakespeare Inter Schools Quiz Competition became an added and popular feature of the Youth Festival. This year, 14 high schools outside KZN applied for participation and this has given the event national status.

The desire to nurture cultural values in the youth of South Africa has led to a collaboration at provincial level of the National Creative Arts Youth Festival and the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa. In a dynamic and most practical way, all South African youth, led by their dedicated mentors, benefit from “the experience of Shakespeare’s interpretation of human actions and the underlying motivation that determines choice”.

Youth craves for the very stuff that Shakespeare is made of. His presentation of “the universality of the human state” is clearly identifiable at all levels “because all humans are members of the same species”. Through the medium of education, vigorous and enthusiastic stimulus in the classroom, the drama space, active participation by learners brings them into a welcome “freeing process, freeing them from arrogance, prejudice, hypocrisy, self-importance, intolerance and meanness of spirit.”




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