NEA Young Performer Awards Competition winners

National Eisteddfod Academy (NEA)

The National Eisteddfod Academy (NEA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Young Performer Awards.

The winners of the 2019 Young Performer Awards were presented on Wednesday 29 May at the Roodepoort Theatre.

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This highly regarded Awards competition, presented by the NEA, a non-profit organisation for youth development in the arts, attracted 1000+ entries from top achievers in the arts all over the country. Following three preliminary rounds since February, 25 young performers and groups went through into the finals to compete for the gold, silver and bronze medals, and the prize money of R50 000.

Winners of the 16th National Eisteddfod Young Performers Award Competition were:

– of the Gold Medal and R30 000 in cash: the young flautist (12) Daniël Spies a student of Helen Vosloo. He is currently in Grade 8 at Hoërskool Linden. He recently performed as a soloist with the Rand Symphony Orchestra (RSO), Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra (JSO) and Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra (GPO) and was the winner of the 2018 Phillip H Moore Music Competition (11-12 age group)

– of the Silver Medal and R15 000 in cash: the talented vocalist, Shani McLea. She is currently a Gr. 9 pupil at Helpmekaar College

– of the Bronze Medal and R5 000 in cash – Minke Marais, currently a Gr. 12 pupil at Hoërskool Noordheuwel. She performed in the Speech and Drama category

The 2019 adjudicator’s panel at the Final Round comprised Reinette Bouwer, Shireen Hollier, Harold van Buuren and the NEA alumnus, Carmen Pretorius.

In the special category, Most Inspiring Performance, the adjudicators nominated not one, but three events – Dawian van der Westhuizen (Drama); Labyrinth (Dance group from Parktown High School for Girls) and Emma Strydom (Dance).

The winners of the 6th NEA Young Artist Award Competition were also announced at the Finals:

– The senior winner was Yaeya Katerine Dukes, Gr 11 (Brescia House School)

– the junior (Grade 4 – 7) category winner was Alexandra Tserkezis, Gr 7 (Brescia House School

– the Foundation Phase category winner was Kimber Roodt, Gr 3 (Home School)

The NEA’s CEO Dr Francois van den Berg congratulated everyone involved in training, producing, creating and staging the Young Performers Awards Finals – “We are grateful to all the teachers, schools, studios for their tireless dedication, and to all the adjudicators throughout the whole process, and of course to the Roodepoort Theatre”.

The annual NEA Young Performer Awards affords the opportunity for young, upcoming learners in the performing arts from across the country, to attempt to reach and compete at the Finals and has proven to be the springboard for many of the participants.

Many past winners and participants have gone on to excel on the professional stage – Henno William, a2015 Silver medallist and a SA’s Got Talent 2015 finalist, was signed by a New York-based music executive; Julian Hepburn, also a finalist in SA’s Got Talent; top achievers in Ballet – Andile Ndlovu and Camille Bracher forged international careers – Ndlovu, with the Washington Ballet and Bracher, the Royal Ballet Company; the young pianist, Iman Bulbulia, performed internationally and at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, and Carmen Pretorius, now an established musical theatre and TV star in the entertainment industry with leading roles in Mamma Mia, Cinderella, Jersey Boys, and most recently Chicago.

Currently, the NEA is running a Pay-It-Forward project and is a registered charity on the Loving Thy Neighbour platform. All proceeds of this project will go toward enabling young performers to partake in the NEA programme. You can give to the National Eisteddfod Pay-It-Forward project and help other talented young performers reach their dreams. To find out more about Loving Thy Neighbour, or to register as a GIVER, please visit the website: and click on REGISTER.

Hot on the heels of the successful Young Performer Awards competition, the National Eisteddfod of South Africa® – a non-profit organisation and the largest eisteddfod platform in the country – is calling for entries to its 2019 National Eisteddfod season. Over and above performing live at the various eisteddfod venues, there is also an opportunity for aspiring performers in every corner of the country to participate by means of video recorded performances. The closing date for online entries is 30 June 2019, but video recorded entries may be submitted until the end of August.

“The National Eisteddfod platform provides a unique opportunity for the magic of the arts to come into play. This magic causes wonderful things to happen in the inner workings of young minds that encourage and enable them to take a stand in this world. Taking part in eisteddfods should not be the privilege of only a selected few – anyone in the country should have an opportunity to experience the magic of the arts”, says Dr van den Berg.

All information – the NEA prospectus, different categories and requirements, dates for activities in particular regions, entry forms, entry fees and guidelines for the submission of online entries and virtual entries – is available on the NEA website –

For any further enquiries please contact the NEA Office at 011 886 6005 / e-mail:

Follow the NEA on Twitter: @eisteddfodSA / Facebook:


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