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HELP FOR WILLIAM ZULU (article first published : 2004-03-27)

artSMart recently received a request for support funding for talented KZN artist William Zulu to attend the VSA International Arts Festival in Washington DC which takes place from June 8 to 12, 2004.

VSA (Very Special Arts) of South Africa promotes the artistic talents of all artists with disabilities throughout the country. It is affiliated to VSA Arts International based in Washington DC which periodically stages International Arts Festivals.

This year, VSA Arts International is host to the International Festival titled Odyssey, dare to imagine and participants from all affiliates across the globe were selected to attend this prestigious event. Of some 200 invited artists throughout the world, William was the only successful artist from South Africa. This is a great achievement for him and a major boost for artists with disabilities in South Africa. William will participate in the printmaking and graphics categories.

William Zulu lives in the small rural town of Emondlo outside Vryheid. He began drawing local scenes and cartoons while at high school but was paralysed after a spinal fusion operation in 1976. After leaving school he studied art at The Rorkes Drift Art School.

Now highly skilled in printmaking and graphics, William Zulu has participated in numerous exhibitions on the national and international scene including the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and various exhibition venues in Germany.

Unselfishly sharing his expertise and time with the youth in his community, William displays a clear understanding of the many challenges they face. He is involved in the Siyeza self-help workshop for the disabled, is a member of the local Solomuzi school governing body and lay preacher of the Lutheran Church. He is currently writing his autobiography, Spring Will Come, through which he hopes to encourage and inspire people to reach for a dream, despite difficult circumstances.

William is not in a position to cover the cost of the trip to the US and VSA is also unable to assist him fully. Since he is unable to travel abroad unassisted, he requires his wife to accompany him.

The total cost of the trip is R34,500 for both of them. The Department of Arts and Culture has indicated that it will contribute towards the full cost of the trip along with VSA’s contribution and VSA Arts International will meet the cost of accommodation. Help is therefore required for travelling costs from Emondlo-Durban-Johannesburg which is approximately R4,000 for both. Help is also required for application for visas (R1,500 for both) and meals for the duration of the eight days of the festival (R2,500 for both).

”We firmly belief that William will return from Washington and broaden his base of involvement in the community with renewed energy and enhanced skills,” says George Africa, National Director of VSA Arts of South Africa.

William Zulu can be contacted on 034 933 2495.




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