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Tuesday, May 26, 2015


(Artist Andries Botha; Ian Campbell-Gillies of Clark & Kent; 
Moses Sefatsa, Atlas Duma & Theo Bophela from 
Nqwelo Afrika band, and Artist Gqwetha from the Wilderness
Leadership School. Pic by Val Adamson)

The second Industrial Strength Blues Concert will take place at Clark and Kent on May 30 and will showcase phenomenal original Blues by the Tim Wells Blues Band and some great swing and jazz with the Theo Bophela’s Nqwelo Afrika band, to raise funds for a memorial artwork to be made by internationally renowned artist, Andries Botha, honouring the life and philosophy of the late Dr Ian Player and his mentor Magqubu Ntombela.

The first Industrial Strength Blues Concert, held at Clark and Kent in June 2012 was a phenomenal success capturing the imagination of Durban’s music-loving public keen for a bespoke musical experience outside the conventional concert halls.

This concert is produced by vehicle repair, panel-beating and spray-painting service-provider, Clark and Kent, as one of their major CSI projects for 2015, in association with the Wilderness Leadership School and the Human Elephant Foundation.

Headline act, Tim Wells and his Blues band will take to the stage once more. Included in their sublime Blues repertoire will be Great Heart - a song written especially for the occasion honouring Player and Ntombela. Wells, who now lives in the UK, will be coming out especially for the event. The Tim Wells Blues Band comprises Wells (vocals), Nux Schwartz (guitar), Jason Andrew (bass), Peter Enslin (keys) and Steve du Plessis (drums).

Nqwelo Afrika is a township jazz / marabi group that plays original compositions influenced by the swing era. The band is led by Theo Bophela (piano), who is joined by Moses Sefatsa (jazz tenor sax), Jacob Filander (lead guitar), K.B. Maphumulo (bass guitar), Barney Bophela (synthesizer) Atlas Duma (drums); Nonhlanhla Dlomo (vocals) and Bheki Ntuli (trumpet).Both bands will have CDs for sale.

The beneficiary for this second concert will be an ongoing environmental global lobbying project to continue the Player legacy - the starting point of which will be a symbolic memorial to the two great conservationists by renowned Durban artist Andries Botha.

Joint initiators of this project are Ian Campbell-Gillies, whose Clark and Kent is producing and hosting the concert, and Durban artist Andries Botha.  “Here in South Africa the need is for social cohesion through caring. This also becomes a great antidote to predatory populism. It is a case of people not complaining but taking action. It’s about dispelling the anxiety people have about one person not being able to do anything – so here you have a panel beater giving it a go!” explained Ian Campbell-Gillies, Director: Clark and Kent.

Botha was a close confidant and supporter of Dr Player. He shares the late environmentalist’s philosophy that conservation highlights the importance of the spiritual as well as the scientific side of environmental impact, and is committed to adding his weight to ensure that Player’s legacy continues. Botha, like Player, maintains that people and culture are a vital element in the environmental conversation.

Botha intends to create a memorial to Dr Ian Player and Magqubu Ntombela in the form of a stone rhino emerging from an enclosure of natural rock, to be placed in an appropriate setting.

Two years ago Botha did a 50cm x 60cm print pastel drawing of Dr Ian Player. He is printing a limited-edition print-run of this sketch, on archival paper. These prints will be sold at the concert and all funds will go towards the project.

87 year old Player, who died last November after a short illness, is credited with saving the white rhino from extinction in KwaZulu-Natal in the 1950s through the effective Operation Rhino campaign. He founded the Wilderness Leadership School (WLS) which for 55 years have been living their mission of “reconnecting people with nature and self”.

Andries Botha shared his dream with the executive and board of the WLS and they endorse and support the project. The WLS will be the umbrella PBO for this project providing leadership and project management and will work in collaboration with other stakeholder partners to ensure that the project is brought to its final conclusion.

 “We are looking for people to recognise the importance of this concept. We need to find meaningful ways of building capacity, especially among younger people, to enhance a consciousness of nature,” considers Botha.

The Tim Wells Blues Band and Theo Bophela’s Nqwelo Afrika band will be playing at the second Industrial Strength Blues Concert on May 30, from 19h00 at Clark and Kent, 360 Sydney Rd, Durban. Tickets R250 pp (R2,500 per table of ten). A corporate package is offered for a table of ten which includes a limited-edition signed Player print by Andries Botha, for R6,000 (one signed print per table). There will be a cash bar, and Mrs Pillay’s world famous curry will be on sale.

For more information, or to book: 031 205 7251 or visit