Third year African Music and Dance student Mr Mfundiseni Ndwalane was recently awarded a bursary from the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) worth R18 000. He was one of two students from the country to be given the prestigious bursary.

Ndwalane was up against 18 candidates from nine South African universities who entered for the bursaries. They included students in jazz piano, trombone, trumpet and voice, African music, marimbas, drums, voice and dance, traditional bagpipes, Western art music, piano, voice and clarinet.

‘It is an honour to be recognised for my hard work, and receiving this bursary encourages me to continue to strive for excellence,’ said Ndwalane.

He expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the SAMRO Foundation for their generosity and for believing in him.

‘At home, everyone was happy; especially my mother because she is not working and couldn’t pay for my studies but this bursary now helps. Next year I am looking forward to doing my honours in applied ethnomusicology and this SAMRO bursary will help pay for some of my academic expenses.’

The bursaries are available annually to undergraduate students who specialise in music performance in traditional, jazz or Western art music genres.

Candidates for the bursaries are nominated by the Heads and relevant members of staff of music departments of South African institutions of Higher Education from among the ranks of their students.

The candidates are required to show merit in the field of performance in one or more of these genres. The winners are chosen by the Artistic Committee of the SAMRO Foundation which takes into consideration criteria such as the standard of performance, year of study and perceived financial need.

‘Music is the best tool to communicate with people around you and those people that you cannot see. And it also helps convey messages and raises a social awareness to the community. I think bursaries of this nature are important because they help students financially but also help keep music alive,’ said Ndwalane.

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