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Members of the musical group Ubuciko The Art
were judges at the Westville Prison Arts recitals.

Three UKZN Music students – Mr Lucky Swele, Mr Nkululeko Mchunu and Mr Nhlanhla Mzobe who form part of the group Ubuciko The Art – were judges at Westville Prison Arts recitals.

The group – an interlude musical trio which recites poems fusing vocal and musical instruments (guitar and recorder) – was invited by final year Social Work students to judge and provide constructive criticism on the Westville Prison male inmates’ various performances in music, short plays, poetry and dance.

Said Mzobe: ‘The inmates told their stories of hardship and how they came to be at prison and how they were reforming their ways, through these performances. They displayed passion for the Arts and their performances were well-planned.’

Mzobe told of how the inmates advised them to stay in university, to focus on education and to help those in communities make the right choices in life. ‘They regretted committing their crimes and it put into perspective how lucky we are to be at university and to not be put down by poverty and our circumstances. It gave us the idea to use our art to communicate important messages to communities and to act as motivators and role models.’

The group encouraged other students to get involved in community development and to make a difference in society. ‘Arts students should write about issues such as life in prison so it can be communicated to the public in a creative way thus giving a clearer message about the consequences of committing crimes,’ added Mzobe.

The group hopes to get more involved in community engagement.