Bulelwa Basse is poet who not only writes about social challenges, but also plays her part to alleviate the strife.
She is the founder of Lyrical Base Project, a literary and performing arts organisation that promotes the profiles of writers and performing artists from disenfranchised communities in South Africa. It works through community publishing projects and creates a showcase platform at corporate and government events, as well as at community cultural events.
To mark her outstanding achievements, Basse has been nominated for a Western Cape Cultural Award 2016. According to the provincial department of cultural affairs and sport, the awards encourage excellence and inclusivity. They unite people through sport and culture to ensure a creative and active province. They bind people to build a strong and unified nation and create opportunities through funding and collaboration.
The awards ceremony will be hosted by the department at Rhebokskloof Estate in Paarl, on 3 February 2016.
“It is one of the coveted awards in the cultural fraternity,” Basse explained. “The award recognises cultural practitioners and organisations who have contributed much in the field of cultural affairs in the Western Cape.”
She is an ideal ambassador for Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part initiative, which inculcates a culture of doing what you can, with what you have, wherever you are.
Basse is also the founder of Sisters in Solidarity South Africa, an organisation which empowers women through skills development, capacity building workshops, career development and financial education workshops.
The organisation focuses on helping people to manage their finances well. She offers – with the assistance of financial experts – strategic ways of budgeting and saving money in order to help people to empower themselves. In turn, this allows them invest in their families and communities at large.
“When communities merge to nurture their available resources, they have the capacity to become a great example to the world,” she added.
Her passion for issues that focus on women and youth is the fire that makes her bring relevant information to rural areas, townships and peri-urban communities as a means of community development. Her wish is to travel the African continent and engage with people to establish ways to build self-sustainability.
THE SPOKEN AND WRITTEN WORD
Basse is a proud South African who considers herself a citizen of the world. She has worked with various national and international community development organisations, literary establishments, and creative arts centres in her capacity as a writer, performing artist, arts and culture activist and ambassador, artist manager, community development practitioner, corporate MC and programme director, project director and events co-ordinator, and language facilitator.
In addition, she has been an advocate for 16 Days of Activism against Women and Children Abuse. As a writer, she has been published by the Poetry Institute of Africa, the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, Oprah Magazine and publications supported by the national Department of Arts and Culture.
As a performing artist, she has collaborated with Arts Cape Theatre, the British Council, Centre for the Book, South African Museums and the Steve Biko Foundation.
People have learned from Basse’s philosophy to take the initiative to play one’s part and elevate ordinary lives to become a richly empowered society. “When the universe compels you to live up to your purpose, there is no grey area to confuse the plot,” she said. “The greatest injustice mankind could ever commit, upon itself, is that of never aspiring to live up to its full potential.”
A well-travelled person, Basse has visited India and the United Kingdom and has stood in solidarity with the Western Saharan refugees in Algeria.
She is playing her part to make South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world a better place. Are you also playing your part in transforming South Africa? If so, submit your story or video and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.