The annual festival, which is presented by the NWU’s PUK Arts and the Student Council’s Art Council on the campus in Potchefstroom, took place from 10 to 12 May.
Constant van Graan, a lecturer in forensic accountancy, walked away with top honours in the staff category. His rendition of Sahara’s gospel song Loliwe, in isiXhosa, inspired the judges and audience and secured him first place in the category, which proved to be one of the highlights of the evening.
Music brings us together
“The festival was an exceptional experience for me and definitely one of the highlights of my music career,” he said. “The sound, lighting and accompaniment by the Pukki orchestra were of international standard.”
Constant says the enthusiasm of the audience, some of whom were his students, will always resonate with him. “The isiXhosa song just made me again realise that music brings people together, even if they are from different backgrounds.
It was an evening of powerful performances, enjoyable classics and extraordinary talent. The 34th Pukki Talent Festival was not only a platform for students to showcase their talents, but also for staff to shine with entertaining and inspiring performances.
It is very important to bring people together in these challenging times we are currently experiencing in our country.”
Gregory Sekobotsane of the NWU’s web office and his partner, Moleboheng Khumalo, were runners-up in the category with their breathtaking dancing of a samba, the Cola cha-cha.
Lizz Meiring, a doyenne of television, theatre and film, was the master of ceremonies in front of a lively and enthusiastic crowd in the Sanlam Auditorium.
Star-studded panel of judges
The judges included Mynie Grové, well-known singer and songwriter, and Stefan Enslin, alumnus of the NWU and maker of the films Strikdas and Nul is nie niks nie.
Mynie was especially impressed with the talent of the students and the live orchestra. Stefan said he was amazed by the high standard of every performance. The judges of the contemporary categories included Nkosinati Tom, Louis Nigrini and last year’s winner in the staff category, Rochelle Langford.
Jaco van der Walt, director of PUK Arts, thanked all the staff, students and members of the community who attended this year’s event. “We look forward to surprising everyone again next year with all the wonderful talent on campus.”
Click here to see who the winners in the student section of the festival were.
The extraordinary talents of these category winners were showcased at the 34th Pukki Talent Festival.
(All photos were taken by Annemarie Wichmann and Peet Ryke.)
WINNERS OF THE 34TH ANNUAL TALENT FESTIVAL
Aobakwe Gwendeline Sehoole
Tshegofatso Letokwe and Samkelisiwe Sitshinga
DM de Kock and Doné Greyling
Vice-chancellor’s trophy in the creative category, as well as the art and design category
Rector’s trophy in the contemporary category, as well as the contemporary category for solo performances
Rector’s trophy in the classical category, as well as the classical vocal category
Most original composition
Stage and interpretation
Original writing (He also won the Protea Book Shop prize)
Acoustic music groups
Contemporary singing for duets or trios
ATKV prize for most promising artist
Student Council prize
Constant van Graan’s inspiring performance of singer-songwriter Sahara’s gospel classic
Loliwe won him first prize in the staff category.
Runners-up Gregory Sekobotsane, social media specialist, and his dancing partner,
Moleboheng Khumalo, thrilled the audience with a lively samba.