The Sibikwa Arts Academy is Uplifting the Community of Benoni and Continuing their Lasting Legacy

The Arts is a vital yet often overlooked field. Most if not all of our entertainment comes from this industry – whether that is books, movies, dance or music. For many communities, it is a great tool for keeping children off the streets and forms a huge part of community development.

The Sibikwa Arts Academy, situated in Benoni, is an award winning arts and culture centre, which provides vocational training in the performing arts, arts education, and community development through the creation of innovative South African performance pieces. 

“The Saturday Arts Academy Programme is geared to develop children through the arts to teach them to focus, to concentrate and to attain certain goals,” says Phyllis Klotz, Co-founder of the Sibikwa Arts Centre, while explaining the fundamental role of the centre.

Throughout the lifespan of the centre, Total South Africa has played a significant role in its lasting legacy. The foundation of Total’s social investment is to ensure that they nurture long standing relationships that result in lasting growth. Their social investments are focused in these key areas: youth education, environmental conservation, heritage, road safety and entrepreneurial development.

Phyllis is passionate about making a lasting impact in the lives of the youngsters that come to the centre. With more than 20 years of fulfilling commitment, Klotz values the incredible work they have been able to achieve. 

“So, when I meet a young person who comes from quite an impoverished background with very little idea about how the system works and they say to me, ‘you develop me as a person, with confidence, and have the ability to communicate.’ That is when I feel very, very proud and successful,” says Klotz.

With each sip you take, can you even begin to imagine that the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is a provider of comprehensive services for 600,000 small tea farmers which represents over 60% of the countries total tea production and 13% of the global tea supply? Me too. Its services span across the entire tea processing chain including, transportation, warehousing, processing, marketing, financing and agri-extension to better educate farmers and improve the farming process.

KTDA pays farmers at various stages pre and post final sale. Given the volume of farmers and money being moved on a frequent basis, KTDA needed to have efficient technologies in place to meet expectations, simplify the process and keep up with their growing business. The livelihood of these farmers depends on getting regularly paid for tea supplied – and in the past, this exchange had been a tedious and laborious challenge.

With its global reach, IT capabilities and expertise in working with a myriad of local banks and currencies, Citi developed a system that seamlessly enables KTDA to pay 600,000 farmers quickly, reliably and securely, with an audit trail that ensures transparency. Citi’s new Mass Pay module enables KTDA to pay farmers the same day the funds are received.

Since inception and the introduction of this new system, the farmers have been able to depend on reliable and secure payments for their crops. Not only are they able to better manage their lives, they’re able to support their families, secure their futures without the worry of late payments.

So, just as you enjoy the warmth of your favourite tea in the comfort of your home we can safely say that tea farmers in Kenya are warm and fuzzy inside too because: it’s not just a cup of tea.