Since its inception almost four decades ago, one national award has come to be regarded as the ultimate accolade for young South African arts innovators on the cusp of greatness.

And, as Standard Bank celebrates 35 years of sponsoring the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards in 2019, the latest list of winners proves that the creative fire that fuelled their predecessors in the 1980s burns just as fiercely in the current generation of South African arts pioneers.

The 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist recipients are Mandla Mlangeni (Jazz), Kitty Phetla (Dance), Megan-Geoffrey Prins (Music), Amy Jephta (Theatre) and Gabrielle Goliath (Visual Art).

Each of these exceptional young artists will receive a cash incentive, as well as a commission to premiere a new work or exhibit on the Main Programme of the 2019 National Arts Festival, taking place in Makhanda (Grahamstown) from 27 June to 7 July 2019.

These five young stars join a long list of illustrious SBYA alumni who have attained dizzying creative and professional heights over the years.

Since 1981, the ranks of SBYA winners have included Sibongile Khumalo, William Kentridge, Mbongeni Ngema, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Johnny Clegg, Vincent Mantsoe, Gregory Maqoma, Janice Honeyman, Helen Sebidi, Lara Foot, Darrell Roodt, Robyn Orlin, Jerry Mofokeng, Andrew Buckland, Sam Nhlengethwa and Marthinus Basson.

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