Ukwanda Puppets & Designs Art Collective was developed through the mentorship of Handspring Puppet Company, supported by the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Ukwanda, formally known as Masiphumelele Youth Development, was started in 2010 by Luyanda Nogodlwana. Since its inception, it has grown into a collective of young artists. The core group consists of Luyanda, Siphokazi Mpofu, Sipho Ngxola and Ncedile Daki. They each play an integral role in this skilled team of puppeteers.
Ukwanda achieved considerable acclaim with their production, ‘Qhawe, a Xhosa Fairytale’, which, in 2014, they performed at the National Youth Festival in Montague, Western Cape, the Cape Town Fringe and the Farewell Festival for retiring UWC rector, Brian O’Connell. In 2015 they took ‘Qhawe’ to the National Festival for the Arts, Grahamstown, where they won a Standard Bank Ovation Award. Ukwanda have also performed at the Barrydale Festival and Parade in the Karoo, The City Walk, facilitated by the Cape Town Partnership, the Zabalaza Festival at the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.