The Swallows Foundation SA /Isiseko Senkonjane


Creating innovative intercultural connections that seek to educate and inspire change through culture and arts

  1. Understanding and connections between cultures
  2. Exchange of innovative artistic ideas
  3. Promotion of partnerships – local, national and internationally
  4. A reputable and accountable arts institution(s)
  5. Building a sustainable economy through the arts
  6. Cultural Policy Research and Resource Development
  1. unearthing and developing of new talent
  2. creation of decent work opportunities for artists
  3. facilitate intercultural dialogue through exchange and relations
  4. generating new audiences for the arts
  5. provide access to markets – Cultural product and market development
  6. provide education and training opportunities
  7. Creative and Cultural Management Skills Development

Governance and Management:

  • The Swallows Foundation SA is an independent Non Profit Organization.
  • It has Seven Directors on its Board led by:
    1. Chairperson Ms Lelethu Mahambehlala appointed as the Chairperson in October 2015
    2. Rev Bubele Mfenyana,
    3. Ms Nomazima Nkosi,
    4. Mr Zamuxolo Mgoduka

      Three Executive Directors:
    5. Mr Mntuwabantu Mtshiselwa,
    6. Mr Oyama Vanto and
    7. Mr Gcobani Poltini

The Swallows Foundation SA / Isiseko Senkonjane objectives :

  • Creating an enabling environment for the artists
  • Sustainable economic development through the arts
  • Ensuring that the arts play a pivotal role in Social Cohesion
  • Proper and accountable governance building reputable arts organization for the Eastern Cape

The Swallows Foundation UK

  1. Mark Robinson – Chair
  2. Brian Debnam – Secretary
  3. Annie Rigby
  4. Jennifer Hinves
  5. Ian McKeown

The Swallows Foundation (UK) is registered in the UK as a Company Limited by Guarantee; Company Number 6838704 and is registered as a Charity with the UK Charity Commissioners Charity Number 1135212.

The Registered address is the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, 117 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4AG. As with Isiseko Senkonjane under South African law, the company and charity status of The Swallows Foundation (UK) make it “not for profit” organisation where funds cannot be distributed to members of its Board. The Swallows Foundation UK is in receipt of grant funding from Arts Council England.

The formal purposes for which The Swallows Foundation UK is established are:
To advance the education of the public, in particular but not exclusively the people of the North East of England in the culture of the Eastern Cape of South Africa and to promote the arts, culture and heritage in particular by the provision of public performances, exchange programmes, workshops and such other activities as the trustees may from time to time determine

The Swallows Partnership

The Swallows Partnership / Sihlanganiswa Ziinkonjane is an international partnership based in the arts and culture – between the North East of England and the Eastern Cape Government of South Africa. Its immediate objective is to develop a mutually agreed programme of arts and more broadly cultural projects between artists, organizations in both provinces starting from 2008 to 2014 including the celebrations of South Africa’s 20th anniversary since the first democratic elections in 1994, with a further phase of activity to 2020 being researched.

The Partnership was formalised in a signed Memorandum of Understanding between the Premier of the Eastern Cape and the Chair of the Association of North East Councils (ANEC) on February 28th 2008 and renewed at a meeting of the Honourable MEC Xoliswa Tom and the new Chair of ANEC Cllr. Paul Watson in April 2010.

The programme to date has included exchanges; teaching and training; commissions and productions; festivals; placements and residencies – within areas of co-operation, including:

  • Arts and Culture.
  • Museums and Heritage.
  • Film and Media
  • Libraries and Archives

With special emphasis on:

  • The role of culture in economic and social regeneration
  • The role of the arts culture in education.
  • Training in cultural leadership and management.

The Swallows Partnership / Sihlanganiswa Ziinkonjane objectives are:

  • To connect the North East of England and the Eastern Cape of South Africa in mutual understanding and respect through the arts and cultureUnderstanding
    Creating Connection
    Creating Understanding
  • to enable a significant number of artists and the leaders of cultural programmes from the North East and the Eastern Cape to be “both visitors and at home” – as the birds are – in communities on opposite sides of the earth
  • to support the use of the unique perspectives afforded by these vantage points and the opportunities to work together to explore and seek to understand humanity’s place on the planet more fully
  • to encourage new inter-cultural dialogue and support the creation of new work and new meaning by the artists and organisations involved, for the benefit of the communities of the North East and the Eastern Cape and then for wider dissemination

Resources are raised in both countries by two Foundations, The Swallows Foundation SA /Isiseko Senkonjane and The Swallows Foundation UK that are also responsible for delivering the programme.