Visas hamper Inanda students’ dreams of representing SA in the US

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Abongile Nzelenzele speaks to the project manager of the musical theater program Go! Durban Des Govender of this heartbreaking turn of events and the next step.

Ten incredibly talented young South Africans from Inanda could lose the opportunity to represent their country at the World Performing Arts Championships in Los Angeles.

This after they were denied visas to enter the United States.

Abongile Nzelenzele speaks to the project manager of the musical theater program Go! Durban Des Govender of this heartbreaking turn of events and the next step.

A total of 56 young South Africans qualified for the competition, but 17 visas were refused, including 10 students from the programme.

The denial of visas was because the children apparently had insufficient financial ties to South Africa due to their origins.

Additionally, it would see them seen as immigration risks.

The consulate’s decision is final for visa applications and there is no appeal process.

While we respect their process, we really do, these children pose no immigration risk. I said to the sir, instead of opting for the 10 year visa, we don’t need that, could you please give us a short term visa, 3 weeks? Let them compete, let them represent their country because it prevents them from representing South Africa.

Des Govender, project manager for the Go!Durban Musical Theater Academy

This international competition is extremely prestigious, and there have been attempts to obtain an emergency visa for the children to give them the opportunity to attend after all their hard work.

For more, listen to the full audio above.


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