About The Rainbow Academy

Inspired by the life-long legacy of our hero, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s dream for a unified, prosperous, free and democratic RAINBOW NATION FOR ALL, The Rainbow Academy , School of Performing Arts and Business, was formed in June 2010, to address the systemic scourge of unemployment, violence, socio-economic discrepancies and lack of access to education and employment for youth of colour, in post -Apartheid South Africa, 1994.

Forty students are enrolled annually into scholarships with recognized qualifications and job experience. Students undertake intensive experiential, practical and academic training (900 hours) in a combined curriculum of Music, Drama, Musical Theatre, Dance, African Music, Arts and Culture, Business, Life Skills, Hospitality and Tourism. They also participate in over 20 annual professional event, performances, productions and live TV and radio interviews and are mentored in life skills, leadership and entrepreneurship.  Each beneficiary is mentored to make a very significant contribution to their own, others, and community achievements in leadership and service.

Thus far, The Rainbow Academy has mobilized over 400 scholarships, internships, jobs and mentorships between 2010-2019 to youth from this sector. The academy programme is vibrant; relevant; creative and portable. It addresses history, culture, education, entertainment, tourism, entrepreneurship and jobs.

Our Programme

The Cape Town Show is the annual Rainbow Academy production that showcase and employs students as performers at the end of each year. The Cape Town Show has received glowing feedback from the public, schools and community organisations since 2010 and provides invaluable exposure for the students and the Academy.

Annually we develop new works or shows that instills in our audiences a sense of national pride for our culture and heritage, and platform to performance opportunities for our students.

Our Achievements


  • Intake :  From  9 to 40 students and graduates per year
  • Staff :  From  1 to 15 full/par-time teachers and staff, plus 20 sponsors and partners
  • Mobilization  of 400 beneficiaries of which 1/3 are university graduates; 1/3 are professionals & entrepreneurs and 1/3 employed as interns at academy
  • Recipient of the  2018 South African Business & Arts Awards (BASA) for Long Term sponsorship & Community Impact.
  • 2012 - 2018 top national marks in London Trinity Music, Drama & Musical Theatre Exams   
  • Denay Willie, chosen to attend the United Nations NELSON MANDELAPEACE SUMMIT in New York 
  • Nominated in 2018  for the NEA, MARTIN LUTHER KING AWARD for outstanding contribution to human rights. (USA)
  •  Host 30-40 professional shows, events  and showcasing's each year : Cultural Ambassadors
  • SPECIAL PERFORMANCES - Passing of Winnie Madikizela Mandela ; President Jacob Zuma,  Premier Helen Zille, struggle heroes as Albie Sachs,  Chester Williams, Ronnie Kasrils and a host of national and international dignitaries



Increasing Access to the Arts Award – This Award celebrates a partnership that has encouraged specific audience engagement with the arts or has made a significant contribution to brand, market and audience development, while still promoting the business through above-the-line media or a partnership that has made a significant contribution to regeneration or sustainable growth, through a marketing and CSI budget or other.

Long Term Partnership Award – Awarded to a company which has significantly developed and expanded its commitment to an arts project over three years or longer. The value to the arts project, the broader community and the business, must be apparent.