The Fashion. Art. Music. (F.A.M) Academy has announced its partnership with public benefit organisation, Feenix, to launch a student crowdfunding campaign, #FamTagYouIt, to provide financial support for South African creative arts students.

The campaign comes at a critical time for students, amidst a backdrop of nationwide student protests around financing issues. The #FAMTagYouIt student fund aims to raise R3 million in two weeks with a focus on creative arts undergraduate students and graduates with historic debt.

F.A.M is founded by Laduma Ngxokolo, founder of acclaimed knitwear brand MAXHOSA AFRICA alongside long-time collaborators, visionary fine artist Nelson Makamo and legendary DJ and stalwart of modern African Music, Black Coffee.

Driven by a passion to build a generation of creative professionals that will ultimately produce wealth and opportunities for South Africans, the trio is kick-starting the campaign by contributing first to the campaign.

The student funding crisis continues to remain a challenge for students nationwide. For students in the creative arts, this is heightened by the lack of student funding available in the sector.

“We believe in the right to quality education for the African child, and that through opportunities in creative industries, this sector will be a sustainable and powerful contributor to the African economy.  In Feenix, we have found a partner whose ethos, vision and transparency align closely with our own, and who has the reach and know-how to strategically network and successfully implement this student relief fund”, says Lungie Maphumulo from the F.A.M. Academy.

Launched in 2017 in response to the #FeesMustFall movement, Feenix is a public benefit organisation which works with all 26 public universities to ensure a future of debt-free education. Through the power of crowdfunding, Feenix has disbursed over R76 million to more than 1910 students’ university fee accounts.

“We believe that access to education should not be dependent on wealth. Our model connects communities, providing a tool for students to formalise their fundraising efforts and a channel for South Africans to find students that they wish to support”, explains Feenix’s Chief Executive Officer, Leana de Beer.

The F.A.M. Academy was established in 2017 in response to the challenges creative industry professionals face in building lucrative and sustainable business models. The organisation and its founders believe that the creative arts play a pivotal but undervalued role within contemporary African societies.

“We seek to cherish and nurture our young artists; to make sure they have a place at the economic table and are valued in a way that is commensurate with their vital contribution to our lived reality and a good place to start is in ensuring they are able to study without worrying about student debt”, says Maphumulo.

The public can donate towards the #FamTagYouIt fundraising via Feenix’s safe and secure online platform on www.feenix.org, using PayFast, SnapScan, Zapper, or by direct bank deposit.

Once a donation has been made, individuals can tag their friends and family by using the #FAMTagYouIt and nominate them to make a donation too. Feenix is a transparent, vetted and accountable fundraising platform that ensures all student information is verified and funds are disbursed directly into the students’ university fee accounts.

While the majority of the money raised through the crowdfunding campaign will be dedicated to students in the creative arts, a portion will be set aside to support the general student population.

To qualify to register on the Feenix platform, students need to have South African Citizenship, Permanent Residence, or Refugee and Asylum seeker status; registered at a South African public university with current and/or historical debt; and have a combined household income below R600 000 per year.

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