Letters from our sponsors
A Festival of Unity and Diversity
Prof. Nico Koopman
Vice-chancellor: Social Impact, Transformation and Staff, Stellenbosch University
A sparkling welcome to the Woordfees! We are happy to host all festival-goers and artists in Stellenbosch, as the festival is a space where people from diverse backgrounds, culture and communities can come together to celebrate our common humanity.
The arts are necessary pillar in our academic programs of learning and teaching, research and innovation, and transformative social impact
The arts offer a universal medium for uplifting the differences between language and culture. They provide a platform for communication and interaction between people who may not have otherwise come into contact with each other. Just like our national motto tells it “!ke e: /xarra //ke” — diverse people unite The arts offer a universal medium for uplifting the differences between language and culture. They provide a platform for communication and interaction between people who may not have otherwise come into contact with each other.
Through the arts we are able to expand our perspectives, learn about other cultures and experiences and develop empathy for each other. The arts can also function as a catalyst for change and social awareness. It is a medium that can touch on complex themes, address social injustice and encourage dialogue on important issues.
Through the arts individuals are given the opportunity to be heard, to share their unique perspectives and to tell their stories. And in so doing, create an environment of inclusivity that gives people the space to be heard and to be who they really are.
The development of social cohesion through the arts contributes to a strong, resilient society built on understanding, collaboration and respect for each other. It strengthens the bond between individuals and communities and promotes a sense of connectedness, of togetherness.
Let us encourage and nurture the power of the arts to bring about social cohesion. Through the arts we can create a better world, in which we work together and build a community that is inclusive, welcoming and nurturing.
This year, let us celebrate the arts and their power to convene and unite.
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Toyota SA
On behalf of Toyota South Africa Motors, we are excited to be part of the 2023 Toyota SU Woordfees arts festival for another year. As a brand that is deeply entrenched in South African culture and local communities, we’ve been encouraged by the incredible feedback from our association with Woordfees and hope to cultivate this positivity for many years to come. and hope to cultivate this positivity for many years to come.
The previous Woordfees festivals we’ve been a part of, have been a resound- ing success – not just for organisers, but for us as partners as well. We are therefore immensely proud to continue the association.
On 12 April 2023, it was the one-year anniversary of the devastating floods that left our Prospecton production facility in Durban under metres of mud and water. We suffered extensive damage, with knock-on effects that are still being felt to this day.
However, thanks to the resilience and hard work of our Toyota family – in the face of challenging economic circum- stances like the ongoing energy crisis – we are pleased to say that we are still the top-selling and most-loved brand in the country, thanks largely to locally produced models such as Hilux, Fortun- er, Hiace, Corolla Cross and Quest.
In the first quarter of 2023, we recorded more than 25% market share, meaning that one in every four vehicles sold in South Africa was a Toyota, a perfor- mance we are immensely proud of. And despite the social and economic chal- lenges facing South Africa, we believe in the resilience of its people.
As the Toyota family experienced and overcame one of the worst disasters to ever befall the company one year ago, so too will South Africans facing the ongoing setbacks of load shedding and a shrinking economy. I urge you to think of Team Toyota as a microcosm of what we can do when we put our heads down and focus on solving our problems together. Let’s build stronger together.
On that note, we’re happy to continue our involvement with the 2023 Woord- fees, an event that promises more fireworks and excitement than before. And we would like to wish everyone an amazing time at Toyota SU Woordfees! Enjoy yourselves.
IT STARTS WITH WORDS ...
M-Net Director for Premium Channels
Everything celebrated at Woordfees – it is a festival after all! – starts with words, but reaches well beyond that. In addition to the carefully selected word, this festival honours the stroke of a brush, the vibration of a cymbal, the rhythm of dance, the blink of an actor’s eye, and above all, the magic that occurs when people experience something extraordi- nary taking place right before their eyes.
kykNET celebrates with the Woordfees because we believe in the power of creative work, the healing potential of stories, and our universal desire to strive for something greater than what we are. It is a privilege to join the phenomenal Woordfees team and harness the power of TV to entice audiences into the theatre.
Once again, the festival has produced a programme that showcases the rich diversity of the creative work from our communities; and our artists who enable us to experience the known and the unknown through the eyes of others. Congratulations to the Woordfees team, and thank you to every festivalgoer who comes to Stellenbosch to slake their thirst for both entertainment and a more refined understanding of who we are.
INSPIRATION, ESCAPE AND HOPE AFTER THE WINTER OF THE PANDEMIC
After more than two decades of present- ing an autumn festival, the Toyota SU Woordfees, for the second consecutive year, is welcoming festivalgoers to spring under the Stellenbosch oaks. Spring brings with it renewal, and nowhere do we see revitalisation more clearly than in the enthusiasm with which we embrace the arts as we gradually emerge from the long winter of the pandemic.
The Woordfees, once again, offers a wide variety of top productions to satisfy ev- ery artistic taste, including many that are fresh and new. This is a celebration of Afrikaans in all its diverse art forms as it is lived, experienced, spoken, discussed and expanded by all of us.
Media24 will once again play host to the Network24 festival café – come and join us!
Congratulations to the Woordfees team on the packed and exciting festival programme. A huge thank you to all the artists, many of whom are still on the road to recovery after the pandemic, and yet continue to provide us with hope, inspiration and a place to escape, with such great dedication.
To the festivalgoers: mark your diaries, buy tickets and make sure that you miss nothing. Enjoy the festival. We will be there to celebrate with you in October in Stellenbosch!