About the Partners

The MTN SA Foundation and UJ Art Gallery have been engaged in a successful, and beneficial, Art Collection Partnership since 2017. The partnership aims to increase exposure and provenance development for both institutions’ art collections; provide mentorship and training opportunities in the curatorial field and explore innovative ways and digital solutions in contributing towards art education and skills development among our youth. The partnership has identified this year to be the ideal opportunity to resuscitate the legacy of the New Contemporaries Award programme given its strategic alignment to the aforementioned aims and objectives.

The newly envisaged MTN x UJ New Contemporaries Award will focus on the development of a bi-annual nationwide competition/awards programme with emphasis on digital media, as a mandated business strategy for MTN SA’s corporate social investment programmes, and the UJ Art Gallery’s participation in- and contribution towards the University’s digital strategies. It is therefore envisioned that the MTN x UJ partnership will manage and facilitate its support to the guest curator and nominated artists and provide the same wide range of financial, logistical, and administrative support that is essential to the success of this prestige legacy project.

The MTN x UJ New Contemporaries is overseen by Thabo Seshoka from the UJ Art Gallery and Niel Nortje from the MTN Foundation.

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UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni, and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts.

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA offers programmes in eight creative disciplines in art, design, and architecture, as well as being home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre.


MTN SA Foundation’s purpose is to bring about meaningful, measurable, and sustainable change that helps disadvantaged and rural communities to become self-sufficient. With a focus on innovative technology, we aim to uplift communities towards independence in this bold new digital world.

In the years since its launch, the MTN Art Collection has evolved into an appreciating corporate asset which facilitates dialogue between both artists and art lovers from different backgrounds, cultures, and genres, contributing to ensuring that South Africa’s rich cultural heritage is passed from one generation to another. The Foundation will continue to support the creative industry and look for ways to integrate digital solutions into its art collection management. It has also committed to exploring ways in which digital solutions can be used for teaching and learning in the creative sector.