• Lalela Project Celebrates Freedom Day with the Opening of the "Art of Jazz" Exhibit! Unique linocut artwork showcased at Lalela Project Gallery in honor of artists who used art as a vehicle to fight apartheid in South Africa. 
Saturday, April 27th - Freedom Day in South Africa - marked the opening of Lalela Project's "Art of Jazz" exhibit at the Lalela Project Gallery located at One&Only Cape Town hotel.

Judging by the excitement of our student Artists - who were pleased to showcase their work inspired by the artistic and intellectual struggle for freedom of the Community Arts Project (CAP) - the afternoon was a big success!

As we shared with you back in March, Lalela Project students engaged in a curriculum project that involved creating special linocut artwork inspired by the anti-apartheid South African artists who founded and promoted CAPs. The linocut workshops took place at the South African National Gallery, a continued supporter of Lalela Project. CAPs emerged in 1997 and "spanned a range of anti-apartheid organisations and political persuasions. It was also a project subscribing to non-racialism and was aimed at constituting communities of a post-apartheid future.  Open to anyone with an interest in creativity, CAP's particular mission was to provide accommodation, facilities and arts training for marginalised artists and learners, and to develop the cultural voice of Cape Town's oppressed communities. In the 1980s, CAP artists played a prominent role in shaping the notion of "culture as resistance" to apartheid and promoting the idea of 'people's culture.'" (IZIKO, 2013)

The "Art of Jazz" exhibit will continue to run until July 2013, after which we will be exhibiting more showcases throughout the year. Make sure to check back in to learn about upcoming exhibits at the Lalela Project Gallery. You can also stay up-to-date by visiting our the Lalela Project Facebook page

Make sure to also check the Photo Gallery for updates. In the meantime, you can view photos of the opening of the "Art of Jazz" exhibit here.  A BIG heartfelt thank you to all those who attended the opening and showed their support to the students behind the art in action! 

  • Lalela Project's Youngest Learners Collaborate with Renowned Artist, Robin Rhode! Lalela Project learners worked with Rhode on his 'Paries Pictus' installation at the Michael Stevenson Gallery for the artist's first solo exhibition in his native South Africa in over 10 years!  
Lalela Project collaborated with world-renowned South African-born artist, Robin Rhode, at the Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town for Rhode's first solo exhibition in South Africa in over a decade. Groups of grade 1 Artists from the communities of Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay - ranging in age from 6 to 8 years old - participated in an educational experience with Rhode. Working closely with groups of two, Rhode instructed the learners on how to color in geometric vinyl graphics using the over-sized oil pastel and graphic crayons included in the exhibition. The children's performance will serve as the final stage of completion - or activation - of the works on view. The exhibit, titled 'Paries Pictus,' officially opened on Thursday, April 11th, and will run until June 2013, so make sure to check it out!

Before this collaboration took place, we had our young Artists engage in a week-long curriculum to learn how Rhode seamlessly combines performance art with visual art. Rhode fit perfectly into Lalela Project's curriculum of Ideas, Art, and Music (I am). Each of Lalela Project's curriculum not only explores the joy of art and how it connects to life, but focuses on character building and important life skills. The learners had an awesome experience of joy, creativity, and sharing! 

"For our students, the opportunity to collaborate with a world-renowned artist who is also from South Africa - their country - in a world-renowned gallery like Michael Stevenson, is extremely empowering. Rhode serves as a role model, encouraging our learners to see that anything in life is really possible. And this collaborative effort underscores a value we hold highly at Lalela Project, and which we strive to emphasize in each of our arts education workshops - that art is everywhere; it is within us, it is outside of us, and it is a powerful means of creating change!" (CEO and founder of Lalela Project, Andrea Kerzner) 

To learn more about Robin Rhode and his collaboration with Lalela Project, visit the Michael Stevenson gallery website. 

And check out some recent media profiles on the Robin Rhode collaboration in Mail & Guardian, Artthrob Magazine, What's On!, Contemporary And, and Another Africa.

  • Lalela Project Artists Participate in Cape Town International Jazz Festival!  Lalela Project Artists provided unique linocut artwork to adorn CTIJF Golf Day guest tote bags, banner and pin flags, and the official VIP laminate for the music festival!  
Every year, Lalela Project celebrates the power of music with the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF), and this year's collaboration served as another meaningful opportunity for Lalela Project Artists to showcase their art through the CTIJF's various events.

On Golf Day, Master of Ceremonies, Aiden Thomas - radio show host of HEART1049FM - auctioned off a painting created by Lalela Project Artists, the proceeds of which will go towards the organization's arts education programs in the Western Cape. Guests at the Golf Day event were provided with tote bags and flag pins featuring linocut artwork created by Lalela Project Artists. And two of our matriculated learners were interviewed by Lorna Maseko, host of SABC's 'Top Billing,' and asked about the ins-and-outs of Lalela Project and the importance of providing artistic tools to youth as a way to map and manifest life's possibilities beyond their current circumstances. Great job, Sfiso and Siyolisi!

Known as 'Africa's Grandest Gathering,' the CTIJF "has grown into a hugely successful international event since its inception in the year 2000. Attendance figures have increased from 14,000 to over 34,000 in the last 13 years. The festival's winning formula of bringing more than 40 international and local artists to perform over two days on five stages has earned it the status of being the most prestigious event on the African continent" (espAfrika, 2013).

For the festival, the linocut artwork created by Lalela Project Artists - and inspired by the antiapartheid artists of the late 1970s Community Arts Project (CAP) movement - adorned the VIP laminates used for the fun-filled extravaganza!

To learn more about the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and espAfrika, the events management company begind this momentous annual event, visit

Thank you to espAfrika for welcoming Lalela Project into the fold in another successful creative collaboration! 

  • Lalela Project Artists Celebrate Human Rights Day with Hout Bay Police Unit! Lalela Project Artists collaborated with local police officers to paint a mural in honor of human rights.   
March 21st marked Human Rights Day in South Africa, and, every year, Lalela Project Artists collaborate on an artistic community-based project that underscores the importance of human and child rights.
This year, we partnered with police officers from the local Hout Bay Police Unit in the Western Cape to paint a mural in honor of the important day. Using their zest for creative expression, Lalela Project Artists and police officers brushed away the historically turbulent relationship between those who are positioned to protect and to serve and those who are positioned to be protected and served. The result is a long-standing mural adjacent to the Hout Bay Police Unit emblazoned with, 'Human Rights Day,' which will serve as a reminder to every passerby on foot and in car that together, as one community, we can stand up for human rights!
As a way to give back, Lalela Project Artists also created a Healing Garden outside of the Hout Bay Police Unit, featuring recycled plastic bottles filled with coloured water and tree stumps on which to sit, adorned with inspirational messages of peace, love, and compassion. Each message was created and painted by a Lalela Project Artist and a police offer in a powerful show of unity!

You can view more photos by visiting our Facebook page. 
Thank you to the Hout Bay Police Unit for spending their time engaging our students in the joy and power of the arts! 

  • Lalela Project Artists Team Up with South African National Gallery! ALalela Project students exhibit unique linocuts created as an homage to the anti-apartheid artists of the Community Arts Project of South Africa.  
For a Lalela Project curriculum project, our students created special linocuts artwork, inspired by the anti-apartheid South African artists who founded and promoted the Community Arts Project (CAP).
Emerging in 1977, "CAP members spanned a range of anti-apartheid organisations and political persuasions. It was also a project subscribing to non-racialism and was aimed at constituting communities of a post-apartheid future. Open to anyone with an interest in creativity, CAP’s particular mission was to provide accommodation, facilities and arts training for marginalised artists and learners, and to develop the cultural voice of Cape Town’s oppressed communities. In the 1980s, CAP artists played a prominent role in shaping the notion of “culture as resistance” to apartheid and promoting the idea of “people’s culture”. After 1994, CAP became a more formally constituted education NGO for unemployed adults and youth. Later, CAP and its offspring, Media Works, amalgamated to form AMAC (Arts and Media Access Centre), providing training in the arts and media to people from marginalised communities. When AMAC closed its doors in 2008, it brought an end to a chapter in South African cultural history characterised by a firm commitment to the idea that the arts had a vital role to play in the humanisation of systemically disadvantaged people." (IZIKO, 2013).
On Saturday, March 9th, Iziko Museums of South Africa 
held an exhibition titled, 'Voices of the Youth,' which showcased and celebrated the linocuts produced by Lalela Project Artists as part of the South African National Gallery Community Arts Project workshops.
 At Lalela Project, we hope to reignite the flame of that commitment to the idea that arts plays a crucial role in empowering those who have been systematically disempowered.

  • Lalela Project Partners with the Amy Biehl Foundation! Art Changing Lives.. 
We are excited to announce a new partnership with the Amy Biehl Foundation! 
In collaboration with the Amy Biehl Foundation, Lalela Project has begun to bring its Ideas, Arts, and Music (I AM) curriculum to students ages 11 through 14 at Easter Peek After Care and Mkhaniseli After Care in Manenburg and Nyanga, respectively.
The Amy Biehl Foundation is a non-profit organization that offers programmes to develop and empower youth between the ages of 5 and 18 living in challenged and vulnerable communities within the Western Cape. The programmes place a focus on the creative side of the child's brain, and supplement shortcomings of the educational system in the townships of South Africa. Reaching over 2000 youngsters every day, the Amy Biehl Foundation provides educational and cultural activities that offer students healthy alternatives to all the negative influences within their society (ABF, 2013).
Our partnership with the Amy Biehl Foundation underscores Lalela Project's continued advocacy on behalf of arts education and the critical role it plays in the lives of at-risk and affected youth. Educational arts is closely linked to academic achievement, social and emotional development, and civic engagement. Lalela Project is committed to activating whole-brain thinking by using arts education to develop other learning competencies that are vital to all youth. Through our I AM curriculum and its critical messaging component, we ignite imagination and teach children how to map and manifest their dreams and goals, launching a possibility of a different future for themselves and their communities. 
We look forward to working with the Amy Biehl Foundation in our shared commitment to making a positive impact on the communities of the Western Cape through the power of creative thinking!

  • Lalela Project Welcomes Its New Leaders! In partnership with Learn to Lead, Lalela Project continues its objective of training youth leaders for the future. 
Lalela Project initiated its 2013 Leadership Programme with a workshop at Disa High School on Saturday, January 26th, for new and returning Leaders.
Led by Adam from Learn to Lead and our own Loyiso, the feedback we received from our students was extremely positive - "It was amazing, like nothing we've been to before!"
Ncedo, a Lalela Project Artist and a former 2012 Leader, visited the workshop and provided great insight into the impact that the programme has had on him. Ncedo also shared his recent successes as a matriculating student, including acceptances into top higher education institutions. He will begin his dream Radiography program at a major Cape Town university in February!
Aimed at developing high calibre enthusiastic students in our communities along a path of personal and professional growth to job readiness, the Lalela Project Leadership Programme, in collaboration with Learn to Lead, presents life skills development training in a comfortable environment that maximizes the transfer of learning, and that builds on the belief that nothing in the world is impossible. As Ncedo often says, 'The word is actual I'M possible!'
Congratulations to our new and returning Leaders for continuing their commitment to creating change that begins with the self.  

Make sure to check the News section for more updates about the Lalela Project Leadership Programme. 
  • 'A Lalela Project: Stories of Ubuntu' now available for purchasel! In collaboration with uTales, Lalela Project releases the first two volumes of a series of books written and illustrated by Lalela Project students.
Lalela Project is proud to offer 2 volumes of "A Lalela Project: Stories of Ubuntu," a uTales collaboration written and illustrated by Lalela Project students, ages 6 to 18. Ebooks are available for gift purchase through uTales at, and paperbacks are available on Fast Pencil at
If you haven't yet bought your holiday gifts, or if you simply want to get a bundle of books for a classroom of students to start the new year, "A Lalela Project: Stories of Ubuntu" are the best kind of gift to give because a portion of the profits will continue to support Lalela Project arts education programs.
The students of Lalela Project - called 'Artists' - have come together to create 6 volumes of stories centered on the spirit of ubuntu - I AM because you ARE, the essence of being human. The stories contained within each volume send simple messages of love, peace, and the importance of friendship. Through this collection, Lalela Project Artists hope to inspire other children to practice ubuntu by sharing and listening to one another's stories, so that we may enjoy our similarities and celebrate our differences. The remaining 4 volumes will be available for purchase early next year - we'll let you know about future release dates!
Perfect for kids ages 3 to 6, fun characters like the cat and the mouse, the rabbit and the jackal, and Lindokuhle and Bongani will be forever friends! And get sillier yet with the elephant and the ant, a friendly giraffe, and sausage long legs!
Happy holidays from all of us at Lalela Project!

  • Lalela Project celebrates the holiday season with One and Only Cape Town hotel! The event kicked off with a special - and momentous - performance by the Lalela Project Youth Choir.
Lalela Project celebrated the holiday season with a performance by the Lalela Project Choir at the One and Only Cape Town Hotel!
This is the second year that we have collaborated with One and Only Cape Town hotel to hold a holiday function. The event featured an exhibit of some of the wonderful pieces created by Lalela Project artists throughout the course of the past year.
Guests were encouraged to donate school stationary supplies to Lalela Project students and the response was overwhelming - over R7 000 (South African Rand) worth of stationary was donated!!
The event also marked the first time for the Lalela Project Youth Choir to perform at the hotel, and to such a large audience. Our sponsors, partners, and the amazing pricipals of the schools in which we work, joined us to celebrate the success of the past year and the great success that awaits in the future!

  • Lalela Project Artists reveled in a December Holiday Programme jam-packed with FUN! 
For the December school holidays, Lalela Project Artists enjoyed a week of festivities, including a face-painting outing under the sun, fun-filled competitions, and gift making sessions for friends and loved ones that included designing and painting pencil case canvasses, clay figures with extravagant embellishments, and fun tote bags.

Our high school Artists worked on a 5-part mosaic mural for the new Cape Town design offices of The Foschini Group. Incorporating glass and other found objects, the mosaic represents all the important steps in the design process - from a design idea to the finished product!

  • Lalela Project partners with Matla a Bana for 16 Days of Activism! The 16 Days of Activism campaign aims stop violence against women and children.
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children is an international campaign that takes place annually, between the 25th of November and the 10th of December. The campaign encourages people to engage in initiatives that raise awareness about the prevalence of abuse faced by vulnerable women and children across the globe. 

At Lalela Project, we are committed to being a part of this campaign so to commemorate the start of 16 Days of Activism, we partnered with Matla a Bana, an organisation that works with physically abused children, to paint child-friendly spaces at the Stellenbosch FCS (Family Violence, Child Protection, and Sexual Offences) Unit and the Paarl Provincial Hospital. 

At Stellenbosch FCS, Lalela Project Artists Siyoliso, Sfiso, and Noncedo, painted the walls of the room used to interview children who have endured physical and emotional abuse. It is their hope for the room to serve as a more emotionally accommodating space to children as they open up about the trauma they have faced.

At Paarl Provincial Hospital, Lalela Project Artists painted the Children's Waiting Room, which is used to provide medical examinations for children who have recently suffered sexual abuse. Our Artists created a colorful and psychologically supportive space using bright imagery and words of encouragement, as well as providing a wall for children to express their emotions through painting and drawing.
Our Artists also engaged in an initiative to beautify the community of Masiphumele by creating bright, comforting murals for the children of Siyakhanya Educare. This will be one of 4 crèches (day care centers) that Lalela Project Artists will be 'beautifying'!
The spaces at Stellenbosch FCS and Paarl Provincial Hospital will be unveiled on the 25th of November.

Learn more about Matla a Bana by visiting

  • Lalela Project Artists are presented award by Archbishop Desmond Tutu!  Linda Velapi and Adisiwe Tsobu attend the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation 'Reconciliation Through Art' awards ceremony.  
As you know, two of our Lalela Project Artists - Linda Velapi and Andisiwe Tsobo - have won the 'Reconciliation Through Art' award in their respective categories as part of a national competition put on by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR). Linda received top honors for her original photograph and Andisiwe was recognized for her original poem. Aimed at young people born in 1994, the competition asked youth to submit either an original short story, photograph, or art piece on a canvas, portraying their (his)tory of reconciliation.
'Reconciliation has played a major role in South Africa's history, but 18 years later, many South Africans still do not feel reconciled nor healed from the wounds of the past. The hope for a better future is the new 'born-free' generation." - IJR
Our Artists were presented their awards by Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the IJR 'Reconciliation Through Art' ceremony in November!  Congratulations again to our Artists for their outstanding achievement!


  • Lalela Project Artists recognized by Lions Club International in annual Peace Poster contest!  Snesipho, Sakhi, and Faizel received awards for their visions of peace. 
Lions Club International held its annual art contest for kids, the Lions International Peace Poster competition.
The art contest encourages youth around the world to ' express their visions of peace.' This year's theme was specifically, 'Imagine Peace,' and was open to students from ages 11 to 13. Lions Club International has held this event for 25 years and has garnered the participation of over 4 million children from nearly 100 countries!

On October 20th, 3 Lalela Project Artists from 3 different primary schools were recognized at the Peace Poster awards ceremony in District 410 A for their artistic vision of a more peaceful future. Congratulations to Snesipho Mgemani of Masiphumelele, Sakhi Sifuba of Oranjekloof, and Faizel Matthee of Sentinel Primary!


  • Lalela Project opens Arts Center at Hope North! Lalela Project and Hope North celebrate the opening of the Lalela Project Arts Center with a vibrant celebration. 
What began as a simple vision held by Okello Sam, founder of Hope North, turned into a reality on October 2nd with the unveiling of the new Lalela Project Arts Center on the campus of Hope North. 

Situated a few hours north of Kampala, Hope North is a living and learning community center for former child soldiers, orphans, and other vulnerable children. Okello Sam founded the NGO after he and his family were greatly impacted by the brutal civil war. Hope North has grown to become a 40-acre source of support for youth, providing an accredited secondary school as well as vocational training that equip youth with critical life-development skills. 

Coming from a musical and theatrical background, Okello had often envisioned a space for Hope North youth, one where they could explore their imaginations and engage in opportunities that enable them to think critically in a creative way.  To learn more about Hope North and our ongoing partnership, please click here

The opening was a huge success, with people from  the local communities celebrating the unveiling of the Lalela Project Arts Center. Students from all around arrived at the opening not just to partake in the festivities, but to register for workshops at the Arts Center! We are excited to implement our innovative I AM (Ideas, Arts, and Music) as it is our aim to provide youth with the creative tools to cope with the trauma and conflict that they have witnessed, and to inspire their imaginations to conceive a peaceful future. 

Hope North students put on a wonderful dance performane, inviting guests to revel in the musical traditions of Uganda, and setting the tone for the much-anticipated performance by popular Ugandan musician, Bobi Wine! Please be sure to check out the photo gallery to view beautiful images from the night!

  • Lalela Project Artists win IJR competition! Lalela Project Artists recognized by IJR for their original artwork as part of a national competition.
Two of our Lalela Project Artists - Linda Velapi and Andisiwe Tsobo - have won the 'Reconciliation Through Art' award in their respective categories as part of a national competition put on by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR). Linda received top honors for her original photograph and Andisiwe was recognized for her original poem. Aimed at young people born in 1994, the competition asked youth to submit either an original short story, photograph, or art piece on a canvas, portraying their (his)tory of reconciliation.

'Reconciliation has played a major role in South Africa's history, but 18 years later, many South Africans still do not feel reconciled nor healed from the wounds of the past. The hope for a better future is the new 'born-free' generation." - IJR

We are deeply proud of Linda and Andisiwe! Congratulations on your accomplishment!

  • Lalela Project celebrates Heritage Day with an unveiling! Lalela Project opens the new Lalela Project Gallery at One&Only Cape Town hotel with an icon-studded Heart Map exhibition.

On September 24th, Lalela Project celebrated Heritage Day by launching its first stand-alone gallery at One&Only Cape Town hotel. The event showcased the unique Heart Maps created by Lalela Project Artists, and inspired by a number of iconic South Africans.
What is a Heart Map? A signature Lalela Project curriculum, the Heart Map project involves interviewing a subject and engaging them in their dreams, hopes, fears, and challenges, which are then reflected by the Artist into an artistic expression of the four chambers of the heart. Some of the influential subjects interviewed by our Artists for a unique Heart Map included Beezy Bailey (artist), Yvonne Chaka Chaka (musical artist), Colin Cowie (celebrity event planner and lifestyle guru), Goldfish (electronica band), David Kramer (entertainer), Breyton Paulse (rugby), Reuben Riffel (celebrity chef), Leon Schuster (entertainer), and Archbishop Tutu (Nobel Peace Prize winner and activist).  A Heart Map created for Nelson Mandela will remain a permanent exhibition fixture at the new Lalela Project Gallery, which is situated on the first floor mezzanine of One&Only Cape Town and is open 7 days a week.
Congratulations to our Lalela Project Artists for this fantastic achievement and for a successful Heritage Day event!

  • I AM for Social Change. I ACT for Social Change. Lalela Project Artists featured in Cape Town Month of Photography exhibit.

On September 16th, our high school Artists opened an exhibit at Bread, Milk, and Honey, as part of Cape Town's Month of Photography! The exhibition featured photos taken by our Artists during the Photography for Change workshops conducted in March and lead by the Essop Brothers and Marcos Cruz. Exploring how photography can be used to create social change, our Artists used their cameras and new skills to focus their lenses on issues within their Townships, such as sanitation and housing.  

“Before today I didn’t know photography had so much power to make change.” Ncedo Jako in LeadSA.

The images send a powerful message about the critical issues that concern the local communities and the need to mobilize people into action. It is these very images that inspired the successful 67-minute cleanup up of the Imizamo Yethu Township on Mandela Day.

The exhibition will run until October 26th. Please visit for more details.

  • Lalela Project meets with Hangberg Peace and Mediation Committee. Lalela Project and Hangberg Peace and Mediation Committee are collaborating on expanding our reach within their local communities.

On July 19, 2012, our Lalela Project team met with the Hangberg Peace and Mediation Committee, which was established in 2010 after an eruption of tragic violence and rioting in Hout Bay. Since then, the group has been committed to maintaining peace and resolving conflict within their local communities. Our team visited with them to discuss future goals for the children of the area in terms of arts education workshop recruitment. It was a coincidental pleasure for us to discover that one of the members of the committee - Shanaaz Halim - has a daughter who is an active participant in Lalela Project workshops as a student at Sentinel Primary School. 

"My daughter, Zaitoon, attends Firdous' (Art Facilitator) group and it has been wonderful.  My husband was one of the people who lost an eye during the [2010 riots] and it has been very hard for my daughter; she was very traumatized. But Lalela Project has opened something up in her, given her something to look forward to.  Every Tuesday morning, I can see the excitement in her - she looks forward to Lalela Project.  This safe space that you create really works. She feels safe and happy to share her story there. I recommend Lalela Project for all children."
It is a privilege for us to be able to work with inspiring members of the community such as Shanaaz Halim and the resilient children of South Africa. We are greatly moved by these words of support, knowing that Lalela Project has impacted these children and their larger communities in a way that is meaningful and sustainable!

  • Lalela Project youth leaders complete a successful two-part Career Day! Our students met leaders in the fields of the arts, politics, and business.
Our youth leaders in South Africa completed a two-day Career "indaba" (meaning 'a gathering' in Zulu) that was hugely successful.

On Day One, our youth leaders were able to visit different organizations and companies, including the One&Only Cape Town hotel, the South African Broadcasting Company, and the Department of Architecture at University of Cape Town. Our inspiring future leaders were also given an opportunity to be interviewed on the Umthlobo station, during which they sang an original Lalela Project song that was so loud that the control room windows shook! The passion is palpable!
On Day Two, various inspiring professionals, including film-makers, actors and actresses, interior and textile designers, and police officers visited the youth and engaged them on the ins and outs of their professions and imparted words of encouragement and motivation.
We look forward to watching our wonderful youth embark on brilliant futures ahead!

  • Lalela Project students host their first TEDx conference!  For Youth Day 2012, our students hosted an inspirational conference.
This year, Lalela Project continued its commitment to empower youth by hosting Youth Day events in Hout Bay and Masiphumelele.  Our student Leaders were introduced to TED talks a few months ago, and their enthusiasm and commitment to impacting their communities inspired them to plan similar screenings.  With Lalela Project's support and involvement, they took ownership of the idea, screening TED talks and encouraging participants to become change agents in their schools.  Each Leader invited peers interested in civic engagement, as well as asking inspirational community members to address the group.
In Hout Bay, our Leaders took charge of the day from beginning to end with dedication and passion.  The event began with presentations by community activists, followed by TED talk screenings and discussions.  These group discussions galvanized all participants to better their school by creating an action plan to accomplish their goals.  Our Hout Bay Leaders will be presenting their proposal to the school principal in the coming weeks. 
In Masiphumelele, the response was similarly positive and proactive.  Leaders and participants were overjoyed that, along with other presenters, their school principal attended and spoke at the event. Throughout his speech, the principal identified the project as one of the most important ones in his school.  Our leaders were proud that he chose to participate, and his words motivated them to uphold and amplify their dedication to community issues. 
For Lalela Project, Youth Day 2012 and the launching of Lalela TEDx was a tremendous success, due in part to the generous sponsorship of Mahomed's Inc. Law firm.   

  • Another Award for NightWatch!  Through sponsorship from ExxonMobil, our program against malaria was commended for the GBCHealth Business Action on Health Awards.
Each year, the GBCHealth Business Action on Health Awards "highlight outstanding corporate achievements that help set the agenda for the fight against the greatest health threats of our time."  This year NightWatch, which aims to help end the Malaria pandemic by 2015, was nominated due to its innovation and to its commitment to achieving change in global health problems.    
NightWatch has 3-key components to create positive awareness and motivate behavioral change:

  1. Nightly messages via radio, TV and mobile phones from celebrities and influencers to drive mosquito net usage and spread critical health information.
  2. A powerful platform to extend the media buzz and create regional and global brand activation that further engages and rewards behavior change and advocacy.
  3. An education distribution opportunity for schools and groups to share vital information about Malaria.
NightWatch was piloted in Senegal in 2010, and expanded to Cameroon (2011), Chad (2012) and Tanzania (2012) with the continuing help and participation of stars such as Akon, 50 Cent, R. Kelly, Ludacris, Shaggy, Viviane and Youssou N'Dour. In studies it has demonstrated success in educating behavior changes, creating local pride and empowerment, and inspiring greater awareness.

The 2012 Awards were presented at the GBCHealth annual Conference and Awards Dinner in New York City, May 14 - 15.  NightWatch was commended in the “partnership/collective action” category, and according to the award “the NightWatch program exemplifies the powerful impact the private sector is making on global health.”  To read more about why ExxonMobil is a 2012 Commended Company due to its participation in NightWatch, click here.



  • Lalela Learners exhibit their work at SANG! After completing a project inspired on the South African artist Peter Clarke, our students collaborative artwork opened at the South African National Gallery.

Recently, our students in the Western Cape, South Africa, made an "endless recycled booklet" inspired by the ones that the South African artist Peter Clarke makes, using collage, drawing and writing. Clarke creates these books by folding up paper, concertina-like, and decorating it with colorful cut-outs from magazines, junk mail, found objects, and words. He has received great acclaim for his work, which explores the artist's enjoyment of color and shape, as well as the transformation of medium, creating art out of what is generally considered "trash."

After discussing Peter Clarke's work, our students each made their own accordion booklet, and then these were joined together to make an extra-long booklet, now on display at the South African National Gallery annex in Cape Town. Museum visitors can tour the annex and appreciate the diversity of aesthetic visions that each student expresses, and that together make up an eclectic and yet unified, collaborative whole. For the opening of the exhibit, Peter Clarke himself attended, along with museum directors, the CEO and COO of Lalela Project, staff and several of our students.

  • Lalela Learners Enter the Job Market.  As our older learners finish high school, Lalela Project continues to be a part of their lives.

As our learners move toward the last years of high school, we aim to help them find stable career paths in a country with vertiginous unemployment levels. With that in mind, we partner with corporations in South Africa that provide internship opportunities to our High-­‐School aged students. Once our learners matriculate, the experience and skill acquired during their internships often allow them to achieve job placements, as well as scholarships for college and professional training. Thus, through life skills training and by providing various opportunities, we hope to accompany our learners from kindergarten until they enter the job market as capable and creative adults.


This past holiday season, twelve of our learners, through the mediation of Lalela Project, interviewed for and were hired for short-term internships at places like the One&Only Hotel Cape Town and the South African National Gallery. They greatly enjoyed and profited from these exciting opportunities, and several were hired on a full-time basis due to their exceptional performance. Two of our students, as well as receiving job offers, were given scholarships to study for a university degree in their new field. We at Lalela Project are proud of our learners' skills and dedication, and we hope to accompany many more young artists as they transition into tertiary education, the job market, and adulthood.  

  • NightWatch Wins Prestigious Award. NightWatch, a collaboration between Lalela Project and Malaria No More, won this year's Award in Social Responsibility from the World Petroleum Council. 


NighWatch is an energized movement to increase the use of mosquito nets in malaria endemic communities in Africa, channeling celebrities and leaders through a targeted, interactive media campaign and complementary grassroots initiative (to learn more about NightWatch, go to our "Projects" page on our website.)  The World Petroleum Council Excellence Award for 2011 in Social Responsibility distinguishes companies, institutions, and private or public organizations that provide innovative and far-reaching social responsibility initiatives benefitting the community or environment, that cooperate with local communities and stakeholders to develop mutually beneficial relationships, and that have clearly demonstrable long-term sustainable results.  Over 100 proposals were submitted and reviewed this year, and NightWatch, with it's grassroots focus, involvement of local leadership and celebrities, and huge reach, was awarded the recognition of excellence. 

  • Two Lalela Project Students Shine in Heritage Day Competition
To celebrate Heritage month in South Africa, the City of Cape Town launched a citywide Art and Poetry competition, and two Lalela Project students came away with prizes.  The theme of the competition was “My City, My Heritage, Celebrating our diversity.”   Lauren Phiri won the Poetry category for Grades 8-12, while  Siyabulela Ngxola came second in the art category for Grade 8-12.  Both students were invited to attend a breakfast with the Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lisle, and to receive their prizes.  We at Lalela Project are immensely proud of these two students.

  • Lalela Project leaves a mark! On Saturday, the 24th of September 2011, Lalela Project celebrated Heritage Day at Sentinel Intermediate School, Hangberg, in Hout Bay.
One hundred and fifty children from the three communities we work with came together in celebration of Heritage Month, and each child participated in decorating the walls of the school with their brushstrokes and hand prints.    For this project, we teamed up with attorney Hoosein Mohammed and his wonderful team from Mohamed's Inc. Law Firm, all of whom worked tirelessly to get sponsors for the event. 

  • NightWatch launches in Cameroon! This August, 8.6 million lifesaving bed nets will be distributed throughout Cameroon for the country's first-ever universal mosquito net campaign!
Over 200 people attended an event in Cameroon's capital city, Yaoundé, last Friday to mark this historic occasion — including the Minister of Health, Cameroonian superstar Petit Pays and NBA player Luc Mbah a Moute. The event marked the project to distribute bed nets, and also announced the launch of NightWatch in Cameroon.  NightWatch is a communication campaign developed by Malaria No More and Lalela Project, aimed to increase net utilization by broadcasting nightly reminders on radio, TV, and SMS. Read more about NightWatch here.
The support of local corporate partners is key to the success of this campaign. The Minister of Health welcomed representatives from ExxonMobil and its local affiliate, Cameroon Oil Transport Company (COTCO), plus one of the continent's largest cell phone providers, MTN. These partners are lending their business sense and private sector know-how to helping ensure that every family is protected with a mosquito net and knows what they can do to help their communities fight against malaria.
Thanks to this level of committed, on-the-ground partnerships, Cameroonians across the country will have a better chance than ever to "Sleep Peacefully".



  • This July, Lalela Project CEO Andrea Kerzner and COO Catherina Rieper met Bishop Tutu at an event at the Tutu Center in Masiphumelele, where we work with High School students.   Go to this link to learn more about our ongoing programs in the Western Cape of South Africa.

  • Lalela Project Students Involved in the Inside Out Project post photographs around Cape Town!  In celebration of Mandela Day, Lalela Project students collaborated with the Inside Out Project, a mural photography initiative that centers around social awareness. 
    The Inside Out art collaboration was created by 2011 TED Prize winner JR, a renowned French artist who uses photography as a tool for change.  In Cape Town, Lalela Project students from two different communities (Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg) that attend the same high school but traditionally do not mix, were paired and got to know a little about each other. By learning about their differences and similarities, they engaged in an initiative that promotes cultural understanding and opens up the dialogue around the sensitive issue of racism.  Then, South African photographers Hasan and Husain Essop taught them about portraiture and photo, and the students took pictures of each other. These portraits, printed in large scale, were posted on major Cape Town sites as well as in the homes of each of the Lalela Project students involved. The project culminated on July 18th for Mandela Day 2011, which Lalela Project celebrated with photography that speaks to intercultural communication and mutual appreciation.

To see a press release published by the City of Cape Town about Lalela Project's exciting involvement in the Inside Out Project, click on the link below and read the short article, which includes the locations of the photography murals around Cape Town!
City to support art installation for social awareness on Mandela Day
Read more about the inspiring Inside Out project by clicking on the link below, or read more about the TED prize by going to
Inside Out
The Cape Times published an article on Lalela Project's involvement in the Inside Out project.  Read the full text below!
Pupils unite through portraits
Launching Mandel Day celebrations, pupils from two separate communities were brought together by an NGO to promote social awareness and intercultural understanding through the use of photography.  "The ideas is for them to bridge cultural misunderstanding, appreciate each other's differences and really see how many similarities they have between them," Andrea Kerzner, CEO of The Lalela Project, said.  Thirty pupils from the Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg communities were paired through The Lalela Project, a non-profit organisation which empowers local youth through the arts. The pupils, who attend Hout Bay High School, have been working with well-known South African photographers and brothers Hasan and Husain Essop for the past two months. The twin brothers have been teaching them the basics of portrait photography as a tool to bridge the cultural divide between the two communities. "In these schools, there is still a stigma attached because the students have that old mentality that has been passed down through their social up-bringing and it's not their fault," Hassan Essop said.  Each pair of pupils took their partner's portraits photograph, and world famous mural artist JR did large-scale prints of the portraits from 1 x 2 meters to 10 x 15 m.  The pupils began pasting their portraits posters on each other's homes within the two communities yesterday.  "I am so excited about the posters because a black person's picture is right next to a coloured person's picture so it is like we are bringing the two communities together," Amanda Gaetywa, a pupil from Imizamo Yethu, said.
"Working with the Lalela Project has really helped this area because at first we didn't speak to the coloured people because we have been really separated from apartheid, and now we have a stepping stone to communicate with them," Zimasa Dyani, another pupil from Imizamo Yethu said. The City of Cape Town partnered with the Lalela Project to facilitate an art installation in the city centre of the pupils' portraits to celebrate Mandela Day on Monday. The prints will be exhibited on the roofs of the kiosks on the Grand Parade, the Central Library, the Prestwich Memorial brick walls facing the Fan Walk and 44-52 Wale Street between Loop Street and the garage down-ramp on Long Street.  It has been proposed that this installation be left on display for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of three months.  The Nelson Mandela Foundation has given its support and approval for the project, which will culminate on Monday, which is Mandela's 93rd birthday.



  • Lalela Project Hosts its first Awareness Raiser!  On May 19th, 2011, Lalela Project hosted an awareness raiser in New York City, an intimate event to spread the word about our work to empower disadvantaged youth through the arts.

Upon entering the venue, guests were gifted a personal postcard, each one painted by one of our students in South Africa.  Filled with color and creativity, their small masterpieces were truly touching.  The guests were then provided with a blank postcard, markers and colored pencils, and invited to respond, which many did with warmth and enthusiasm.  This positive energy and openness permeated the entire evening.


Andrea Kerzner, CEO and founder of Lalela Project, led the event with her heartfelt speech, outlining the journey across continents that led her to envision a program aimed at empowering children living in extreme poverty through the arts.    She spoke about the value of creative expression in providing joy and in giving traumatized children a voice, and about the incredible restorative power of the arts. 


We saw the power of creativity in helping transform lives affected by extreme poverty,” Ms. Kerzner said about her work with Lalela Project in different countries in Africa.  With extreme poverty even the most basic needs are not met. The things we take for granted like reading our son or daughter a story at bedtime are not possible. Sometimes children living in these circumstances have never held a crayon. At school art is seen as something unimportant, even frivolous, and as you know, the first thing to be taken out of a curriculum. However, without the arts we cannot teach whole brain thinking. Without creativity in lives from a young age one loses the power of imagination. Without imagination one cannot envisage a future different to the present and will forever be enslaved under present conditions.  At Lalela Project we… aim to empower children and youth living in extreme poverty by igniting creativity.” 


Later she described the work of Lalela Project in the following terms:  “We take the creative currency a child is born with and provide the tools to nurture and grow that creativity, so that not only can they dream about a brighter future, they can map it and accomplish it.”  After Ms. Kerzner’s speech, a moving video featuring the children we work with, and outlining the aims of the organization, was projected.  This was followed by an exhilarating live auction, a warm thank you by Ms. Kerzner, and an invitation to sample the fine food and wine and enjoy the beautiful space.  Held at a former school in the Lower East Side, and decorated by a professional artist, the venue– with its large rooms, patio and roof garden– was truly magical.  


Michael Beneville, Sandy Tabatznik, Terry Torok, Ani Buk, Kimberly Clarke and Mark Landis, Board Members of Lalela Project, were also in attendance.  They talked to guests about Lalela Project, sharing their infectious passion for the power of creative expression, and outlining the importance of listening to the needs of disadvantaged youth.  The guests of Lalela Project responded with great generosity and sincere interest, making the evening a complete success.  


  • Lalela Project Celebrates Human Rights Day!  Lalela Project Celebrated Human Rights Day with its Phulaphula students on Monday the 21st, 2011, bringing learners from our communities in Masiphumelele, Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg Bay together for a day of art and sharing at the Masiphumelele public library.  

 This date marks the anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre in Gauteng in 1960, where policemen opened fire on demonstrators and killed 69 people.  Sharpeville was a turning point in the fight against apartheid, and today South Africa celebrates it as a day of awareness and tolerance, and as a symbol of hope and determination in the face of injustice.


 Our Lalela Project learners were joined at the Masiphumelele library by famed street artist Max1One from the Imaginarium in Cape Town, who collaborated with them in the painting of a mural to mark Human Rights day along the outside walls of the library.  Each and every student, ranging from the ages of seven to eighteen, helped paint this beautiful and inspirational piece of art, and made their mark on a building that is now bright and colorful, and that through its uniqueness belongs more intimately to the community.   


 Along with mural painting, the day was filled with insights and collaboration between the three groups.  Students preformed songs, made speeches, and recited original poetry, all highlighting the theme of the day.     



  • Lalela Project Students attend Cape Town Jazz festival as VIPs!  This year, Lalela Project was the official charity of the 12th Annual Cape Town International Jazz festival!  Our students’ art decorated the entrance to the festival, and they were invited to events and concerts.


The Jazz festival, held at Green Market Square in the heart of Cape Town, features more than forty African and International stars.  It always meets with great success and was sold out this year!


On March 19th, thirty of our 7-10 year old learners from Sentinel Primary School attended the "Gig for Kids," the opening event of the Jazz Festival, where they were treated to lunch, an exciting music show, and ice-cream!  It was the hottest day in Cape Town, but that didn't prevent us from having a wonderful time!



On March 23rd, Lalela Project High School students from Masiphumelele and Hout Bay were invited to attend as guests of honor.   Thanks to the kind generosity of Billy Domingo from ESP Afrika, the events management company in charge of the festival, our Lalela Project learners were provided with VIP passes.  Craig Parks, also from ESP Afrika, took our students on a backstage tour where he explained the extraordinary logistics of organizing a concert on a large scale.  Later the students enjoyed refreshments and amazing music from all over the world.  There was dancing, learning, listening, and fun for all.   Our Lalela Project learners were even interviewed by a TV crew! 


These extraordinary outings were enjoyed by all, and live on as events to remember. 

  •   Akon joins Lalela Project!- January 2011: Akon joins celebrities like Youssou N’dour in their support of Lalela Project, lending their voices for PSA’s in the fight against Malaria.

NightWatch, a collaboration between Lalela Project and Malaria No More, aims to increase the use of mosquito nets in malaria-endemic communities in Africa, by raising awareness through the influence of celebrities and leaders.  In January 2011, Akon– five-time Grammy Award nominee– joins us in this crucial effort, spreading a message of hope to the people of Senegal, urging the children to keep themselves and their dreams alive.  

  • NightWatch- The NightWatch campaign to increase mosquito net usage launched in Senegal in October 2010

Lalela Project, in collaboration with Malaria No More, launched the NightWatch program throughout Senegal in October 2010.   NightWatch is an energized movement to increase the use of mosquito nets in malaria-endemic communities in Africa, and uses the influence of local leaders and celebrities to heighten awareness about malaria prevention.  Youssou N’dour, Senegalese singer and percussionist, described in Rolling Stone in 2004 as “perhaps the most famous singer alive,” collaborated on this project, recording a PSA (public service announcement) that is currently being aired in Senegal.  Using the power of his characteristic voice, Youssou N’dour reminds families every night at nine to use their mosquito nets.   Other celebrities have contributed by lending their voices to the NightWatch effort, including R. Kelly, Babyface, and Akon, who have all recorded PSAs that will be launched in Senegal soon.  Lalela Project and Malaria No More together have harnessed the influence of these well-known leaders to promote mosquito net usage.


To read more about this exciting, extremely successful campaign, and about Lalela Project's partnership with Malaria No More, click here for an article on the SNS website.  Go to the bottom of the article to learn about our founder Andrea Kerzner's engagement with Ideas and Imagination to create a positive behavioral change in mosquito net usage. 


  • Omnipeace- Click on the word Omnipeace to see the work that Lalela Project has done with Omnipeace to stamp out violence against women and girls in Congo, featuring artwork by Lalela Project learners!
T-shirts featuring artwork by Lalela Project students were sold to help create a safe community for Congolese women and girls, as featured in "People Magazine."