Managing Indigenous Cultural Villages In South Africa As Economic Viable Performing And Fine Arts Centres

Presentation with Jan Hendrik Nel (South Africa)

Dr. Jan Nel obtained a BA Teacher’s Degree at Pretoria University. From 1966 he worked at the Wiesbaden State Theatre, Germany where he obtained the “Theatermeisters Diploma” and worked as Production Manager. In 1974 he was appointed Technical Director of the Nico Malan Theatre, Cape Town and in 1977 as Technical Director of Windhoek Theatre, Namibia. From 1980 he was Head of Department and Principal Lecturer in Stage Technology at Technikon Pretoria where he completed his M Tech and D Tech degrees on Theatre Safety. He is Acting HOD of the Department of Entertainment Technology at Tshwane University in Pretoria.  


Format of Presentation: a paper presentation.

The conservation of cultural aspects, such as indigenous art, live performances and tribal ceremonies of every language group or tribe today is high on the agenda of government of most countries of the world. The introduction and establishment of indigenous Cultural Villages in South Africa has proven itself to be an excellent vehicle in this conservation process. What is important is the fact that these Cultural Villages are managed in such a manner that it can positively contribute to this cultural conservation process.

The Cultural Village that is correctly managed can ultimately be utilised as an internationally known tourist attraction, practical training ground of skills, a showcase of live performances, a tool to get various cultural groups to learn from each other and appreciate each other’s culture, a display ground for works of art, artefacts, and food. 

The ideal indigenous Cultural Village can be a museum for static displays of indigenous artwork such as beadwork, traditional clothing, weaving, etc.; a theatre for live traditional performances; a training centre where traditional handcraft skills can be taught; an educational centre for school groups and a restaurant where indigenous foods can be prepared and offered to visitors.

The well-managed Cultural Village can become a financial viable operation that can contribute to the economy of the country and community as well as a place to create new employment possibilities.  


Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse"