£50000 to boost local creatives across Southern Africa

Dewdrops glisten on the green spinach leaves as the sun rises. George is already out in the field, back hunched over, picking bugs off his precious crop. Over the last few years, George and his team have been growing tomatoes, onions and spinach in Chakaloma, a few kilometres outside of Kabwe, Zambia. By equipping youth with skills in agricultural and livestock farming, George hopes to provide employment and help alleviate poverty in his community.

It’s all part of the work by Equi Youth Hub, a youth collective that brings together a variety of ideas and skills in agriculture, poultry and live-stock farming to impact the social and economic well-being of community members. What’s more, this farm is an example of the creative economy as they bring together food, culture and humanity.

But their biggest challenge is finding a market for their produce.

“If you want to go fast, go alone, If you want to go far, go together.” — an old African proverb

In Johannesburg, Faded Black Innovations, a consulting NPO that specializes in turning traditional non-profit organizations to social enterprises, by expanding their capacity to achieve greater efficiency, sustainability and most importantly community impact, comes in to help.

Together, these hubs will setup a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, processing, distribution and marketing of locally/regionally produced food products. The idea is to “shorten” the complete value chain.

The Faded Equi Green farm combines economic activity with community benefit led by dynamic social and creative entrepreneurs. This coordinated effort will ensure ongoing support for small holder farmers and the development of an inclusive value chain. This is one of the 10 projects that demonstrates the purpose of the connect.hubs collaboration grant aimed at fostering connections, conversations and possibilities that can only take place when hubs start working with partners outside of their usual networks.


British Council through it’s DICE program, in partnership with Hivos, Electric South and Enthuse Africa, is supporting the growth of creative and social economies in southern Africa.

British Council has selected 10 collaborations between hubs to receive a total of 50000 pounds in grant funding. Electric South is thrilled to announce the selected hubs consisting of 4 Mobility grants, 4 Project grants and 2 Collaboration grants:

4 Mobility Grants

On the Record, a collaboration between Nothing to Commit Records, ZA & Partage, MA, is a project dedicated to documenting and preserving the stories of (South) African artists, curators, critics and collectors, to offer a first-hand account of the making and meaning of art practices.

Nothing to Commit Records is an online platform interested in recording and publishing practices. The platform is aimed at working with artists, musicians, and writers within the global South.
Partage Museum is aimed at promoting innovation and experimentation in art among established and emerging artists in Mauritius and within Islands of the Indian Ocean Region (Comoros, Madagascar, Reunion and the Seychelles).

OPEN DOORS PROJECT 360, a collaboration between Umotto Centre of Culture Zambia, ZM & Early Entertainment, ZW, is a visual arts skills exchange and documentation endeavour to give the hubs an immersive experience into each other’s creative processes as they document and hold workshops for young minority creative groups in Zimbabwe.

Umotto hub provides a safe environment for young people to express themselves through art. By using this safe environment, whether physical or online, any young person can be fully self-expressed, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwanted/ unsafe on account of biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Early Entertainment is a film and production media hub that provides safe spaces for young people to practice and learn film production.

Night Around the Fire, a collaboration between HOTA, NM & 1Five Entertainment, MW, is focused on sharing common struggles and solutions through exchange visits in the efforts of growing and nurturing the creative business.

HOTA is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to serve as a one-stop centre where aspiring artists are able to learn and be mentored to create, and market their art products and services.
1Five entertainment is an events entertainment hub that was founded to bring people from all walks of life together to share ideas, solutions and skills.

Art-preneurship, a collaboration between Panacea Art and Designing Group, ZW & La Teinturerie, MD, will involve a Zimbabwean artist visiting the La Teinturerie team to learn about the Malagasy art space.

Panacea Art and Designing Group is into marketing artists and designers products.
La Teinturerie is the only contemporary art center of Madagascar. Based in the capital city, it offers artists the opportunity to showcase their work, meet the public and train themselves through workshops in visual arts, music, performance.

4 Project Grants

The Cultural Exchange, a collaboration between Imiloa Collective, MA & Slow Sunday, ZA, consists of two pop-up events at each hubs’ locations where there will be an exchange of ideas and expertise through workshops, local stalls, music, art, food and entertainment.

Slow Sunday Social Market is a monthly event that prioritises the safety and economic advancement of women and queer individuals within the Grahamstown community by providing a platform to socialise and collaborate through music, art, fashion and entrepreneurship.
Imiloa is a social minded creative venue supporting and creating a platform for art, creativity, innovation and local businesses. Imiloa strives to promote artistic and cultural partnerships, as well as contributing to the skillsets and know-how of creatives.

Cultural Expressions Podcast, a collaboration between Amagugu International Heritage Centre, ZW & The Voice Knot Podcast, ZW, is a video and audio podcast that discusses topical and contested cultural heritage practices and beliefs.

Amagugu is a co-working space for rural crafts people, with a performance art gallery that hosts rotating visual arts exhibitions celebrating local cultural heritage.
The Voice Knot Podcast is an African podcast promoting the voice within artists, public figures and entrepreneurs.

Ponte Maputo-Durban, a collaboration between iSupport Creative Business, ZA & Nzango Artist Residency, MZ, brings together two musicians, a videographer, a photographer and two administrators to present a musical exchange developed and recorded in Maputo, Mozambique and performed in both Maputo and Durban, South Africa.

iSupport is an artist hub that houses artists, catering to media, branding and business events.
Nzango Artist Residency offers space to artists to work, learn, exchange knowledge, create together and establish contact with the local and international creative scene.

LobbyBlog Zimbabwe, a collaboration between The Municipal Review, ZW & Afrobloggers, ZW, has an idea to promote blogs that interrogate the accountability and transparency of Harare and Bulawayo City Councils and to publish them in modern media. These blogs will also track responses by the councils on local delivery complaints.

The Municipal Review offers a platform for local authorities and citizens to engage.
Afrobloggers offers the blogging community an opportunity to grow the blogging culture through advocacy and training.

2 Collaboration Grants

Disability Art and Culture Project, a collaboration between Arts Hub Zimbabwe, ZW & IncubatorZW, ZW, will bring together 20 creatives including persons with disabilities in the music industry to connect, collaborate, create and increase their music business knowledge. The outcome of the campus will result in two showcases and papers that will be developed into policy documents for the arts sector focusing on disability.

Arts Hub Zimbabwe is an arts and culture social enterprise that utilises arts and cultural research, digital and physical spaces in the city to promote the growth of the Zimbabwean creative economy.
The Incubator ZW is a woman led creative hub that promotes collaboration and the creation of artistic productions in any art form.

Faded Equi Green Hub, a collaboration between Faded Black Innovations, ZA & Equi Youth, ZM, will setup a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, processing, distribution and marketing of locally/regionally produced food products. The idea is to “shorten” the complete value chain.

Faded Black Innovations is a consulting NPO that specializes in turning traditional non-profit organizations to be social enterprises.
Equi Youth is a youth collective bringing together a variety of ideas and skills in agriculture, poultry and live-stock farming to impact the social and economic well-being of community members and to empower youth.


In December, we announced a call for creative and social hubs in the Southern African region to register their hubs to be listed in the connect.hubs directory.

In the directory, you will find 200 of the most exciting hubs working in the creative and social economies across Southern Africa.

Connect.hubs is a program by Connect ZA #SouthernAfricaArts#bcDICE and Hivos Regional Office Southern Africa, to support the social and creative hubs in Southern Africa that drive the creative economies and create social impact in the region, with support from Electric South and Enthuse Afrika.
Please follow the #connecthubs #GoConnectComeCreate hashtags and the connect.hubs social media pages: Medium, Facebook & Twitter to stay updated on future opportunities.