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Mbabane - A former pupil of Waterford Kamhlaba United World College, Juhee Num, has built a talent hall worth E200 000 at Malindza Refugee Camp.

Num, a dedicated advocate for the arts, recognised the importance of providing opportunities for the less privileged. She identified a need and took it upon herself to create an avenue for these individuals to explore their talents. Understanding the significance of musical equipment in nurturing budding talents, Num ensured that the art hall was equipped with a variety of instruments. This thoughtful provision will enable children who are interested in music to develop their skills and pursue their passion. Num also emphasised the transformative power of the arts in expanding perspectives and promoting empowerment.


She recognised that artistic expression could serve as a valuable tool for personal growth and self-discovery. Additionally, she highlighted the potential of the art hall to serve as a beacon of hope, particularly for young refugees who may be seeking solace and inspiration in their new environment. Num’s initiative to create this opportunity for the less privileged demonstrates her commitment to fostering inclusivity and providing a platform for individuals to explore their artistic potential. “I am a self-proclaimed artist and as a young person I never got the opportunity to pursue art. I was hoping that there would be a platform for young people and children to explore and develop their talents in terms of creativity. My other aim is to promote and encourage different forms of education such as creativity skills, communication skills, self-expression and entrepreneurship skills,” she said.

Through the platform provided, Num said the youth and children can develop their technical skills in art, music, theatre and dancing. She said they were hoping that the established stage could also provide public speaking opportunities to the youth. “Not only can the arts be used for income, but also as a source of entertainment and hobby for the children,” she added.
Num has lived by the quote that reads, ‘blessed is the hand that gives than the one that receives.’ She says she has been in the country for 15 years and has learnt the importance of humanity. She went on to describe the refugee rate in the world and how it has affected the innocent. “One key part of who I am, that I learnt while growing up in Eswatini is ubuntu. I will carry this wherever I go and after witnessing the refugee crisis I wanted to contribute in the one way that I knew how to- which was art.


“I hope that with mutual respect for one another and the connection we have as people, we as a collective society can support those who are displaced due to war, the civil unrest and disasters,” she said. Num did not only contribute to the arts hall but has also opened an opportunity for children who might be interested in entrepreneurship. She initiated a goat project and bought 20 goats worth E19 000. Originally from South Korea, Num has also created a bridge for the refugee youth that wish to study the arts further through a partnership with the music department in a few schools. “This will provide the youth with the opportunity to extend their education and career. Furthermore, through the goat project, the youth will develop their entrepreneurship skills and it can also be a source of income for their families,” she said. The art hall was officially opened last weekend at the Malindza Refugee Camp and children enjoyed the different art activities including painting and playing the musical instruments. Num said she felt fulfilled as she saw the children and the youth enjoying and appreciating the different musical instruments. “Seeing the children play really reminded me of my French tutor who always spoke about the refugee camp,” she added.

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Should exam questions be in both English and siSwati?