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Ms Kim Jennifer Matthews

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Ms Kim Jennifer Matthews
Member of the Council

For her whole life, Kim Matthews has been obsessed with the arts. She played piano achieving a grade 6, studied ballet achieving a grade 8, did art for matric and won two awards for pottery. After school she studied jewellery manufacture and design and won an award from De Beers for a man’s ring design. For 25 years she worked as a jewellery designing and manufacturing and for 12 years ran her own studio.

In 2004 she decided to change direction and help to make children’s dreams come true. She moved into the non-profit space and joined the Durban Music School as their fundraiser. In 2012 she became the CEO and has held that position ever since. Every year she raises funds so that the Durban Music School can offer approximately 600 children free music education, which they do through Internationally accredited music schools and gives them the opportunity to find employment in the cultural and creative industries. This is the school’s main mission and it employs over 20 young people who have been educated through the school. Finding employment for our youth is a top priority.

Ms Kim Matthews is also the Chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Wind Band which is a provincial youth orchestra which falls under the DSAC KZN. She has taken this wind orchestra to many places on cultural exchanges and they have won many International and National competitions. They have competed and performed in the UK, Germany, Austria, Mauritius, People’s Republic of China and in America where they performed in Carnegie Hall winning a Gold medal. She is also the Chairperson of the Paw-Paw Foundation, a Non Profit company which looks after orphaned and vulnerable children as well as teaching people how to grow vegetables in a vertical garden.

She has been able to impact and empower over a thousand children and youth annually and has raised over 50 million rands for the numerous organisations she heads up. She has been awarded a Living Legend Award and a Black Diamond award from eThekwini Municipality,  she has been given a Unsung Hero award from an international company and was asked by the Global Music Education League  ( an International organisation comprising over 80 of the best music institutions un the world ) to join the league in 2021.

She served on the National Arts Council in 2016 and is at present a Board Member of the NAC. She is the Deputy President of the Durban -Guangzhou Sister Cities association which is an organisation which tries to open doors and encourage cultural exchange, trade and tourism between these two cities  Guangzhou  ( a province in China and a sister city to Durban) and Durban. She is also the Deputy Chairperson of the Federation of Community Arts Centres in KZN and works closely with partners in KZN to build the arts centres and empower artists. She serves on the Mayor of eThekwini’s Economic Council as Co-Chairperson of the Cultural and Creative Industries and she also served on the DAC KZN Council from 2016 to 2018 as the vice Chairperson.

For the past 20 years Kim Matthews has dedicated her life, time and energy to empowering and guiding children and youth to seize opportunities, achieve their goals and find excellent employment in the creative and cultural industries. It is a measure of her success that all over South Africa and in many parts of the world you will find performers, teachers, gig artists, composers, conductors, fashion desigmers and arts administrators who have been mentored by her.

Kim Matthews NAC National Arts Council of South African Board Member

Ms Kim Jennifer Matthews