31 July 2023

The four-day cultural festival, an annual highlight in Mbombela, draws thousands of visitors from across the country, showcasing a diverse array of artistic disciplines including theatre, children's theatre, cabaret, literature, dancing, and drama, enriching the region's cultural tapestry.

Dr. Paul Maminza, Dean of Students at UMP, emphasized the university's desire to cultivate like-minded partnerships to foster growth, stating, "UMP is a young institution, and much like growing children, we seek companions who share our values. The Innibos National Arts Festival aligns perfectly with our goal to expand our network of partners."

At the heart of UMP's ethos lies the motto "Creating opportunities," and Innibos undoubtedly bolsters this vision by contributing significantly to the area. The festival's celebration of the arts and its commitment to inclusivity across cultures provide invaluable experiences to local communities. Additionally, the economic boost generated by Innibos contributes significantly to the province's prosperity.

UMP, renowned for its dedication to holistic education, offers students more than just academic qualifications. Encouraging participation in extracurricular activities, sports, and recreation, the university fosters a vibrant student life, creating a welcoming and engaging atmosphere on its beautiful campus.

Dr. Maminza further highlighted the University of Mpumalanga Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator (UMPCFERI), operating from the Mbombela Campus. The centre’s mission is to nurture emerging entrepreneurs in the province and beyond, aiming to combat prevalent unemployment levels through the development of entrepreneurial skills and support for small businesses.

The presence of exhibitors showcasing arts, crafts, and local culinary delights enhances business opportunities during the festival. Festival-goers are treated to a diverse range of products and artistic expressions, highlighting the ingenuity and creativity of local talents.

Innibos provides a platform for these entrepreneurs to introduce and showcase their ideas, to be exposed to other innovative concepts, and connect with like-minded individuals.

"In turn, through UMPCFERI, the institution assumes the role of educating, empowering, and supporting these entrepreneurs in the realization of their business ventures. This collaboration between local institutions is a testament to the power of unified goals," remarked Dr. Maminza.

This year's Innibos National Arts Festival saw a considerable attendance of people, as they flocked to Mbombela between 29 June and 2 July to enjoy a variety of music, comedy, drama, and art productions.

Dr. Maminza proudly expressed UMP's commitment to nurturing robust and mutually beneficial partnerships with strategic stakeholders like Innibos, solidifying the university's status as a dynamic and engaged institution that continuously seeks opportunities for sustainable development through innovation.

Story by Lisa Thabethe. Pictures supplied.