Federated Union of Black Artists

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The Federated Union of Black Artists was an arts and culture organization associated with the Black Consciousness Movement in the 1970s-1980s.

Most commonly known by its acronym, FUBA

The history

FUBA was founded in Newtown, Johannesburg in 1978 by Benjy Francis, Sipho Sepamla and others to promote the arts among black South Africans.

FUBA was among the first private organisations to provide training in acting, music, and fine arts for Africans during the 1980s and 1990s. Thus, their student body was drawn from the townships. At that time, there were no galleries in Soweto and FUBA was a viable outlet for Soweto based artists and those seeking instruction and exhibition space.

FUBA does not seem to have had a sustained community theatre programme during 1984-1994. One notable production was Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel, directed by Lourens Cilliers. The cast consisted of Ernest Ngcobo, Lesego Motsepe, Robert Aphane, Sinah Molefi, Zonke Hlatshwayo, Rapulana Seiphemo, a combination of full time and part-time FUBA drama students. The performance took place in FUBA’s dance studio as they did not have their own space for theatre productions

FUBA's training arm became known as the Fuba Academy of Arts. Later the Fuba School Of Drama And Visual Arts and the Fuba School of Music.


Andile Xaba. 2021. 'Collective memory and the construction of a historical narrative, analysis and interpretation of selected Soweto-based community plays (1984–1994)'. Unpublished PhD thesis.

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