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Monday, May 11, 2015


The timing of this year’s African Music Ensembles Lunch Hour Concert which is being held today (May 11) comes at an interesting historical moment in Durban in particular, and South Africa in general.

Dr Patricia Achieng Opondo, director of the African Music Project. Explains:

“April was a time marked by Xenophobic violence, and targeting of sections of the African immigrant communities in Durban,” “The extreme violence and fear lasted over two weeks, but Durban communities came together united in a common effort to restore peace and harmony. A Peace March was led by municipal and provincial political leadership with a strong campaign to say NO TO XENOPHOBIA. Our short skit and poems in the concert echo those exact sentiments. The AMD Program were part of a peace march and concert held on the Howard College Campus in April, as we marched together with the SRC and UKZN International in the quest to boldly state that UKZN Says NO TO XENOPHOBIA.

The timing of the concert during the second week of May is also important, as South Africa has declared the month of May, Africa Month, thus once again, the African Music and Dance Program (AMD), stands together in common purpose to celebrate our diversity, yet commonalities as descendants of our blessed continent, Africa.

The music and dance items in our Lunch Hour Concert are composed and choreographed by Team AMD to celebrate that diversity which is reflected in both our staff component and student profile. Team AMD comes together to make a joyful noise in celebration of South Africa, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya. Through our creative talents we are able to come together and build bridges, expressing our purpose and vision through our voices, our choreographies, playing instruments, and through spoken word. ASANTENI SANA!!

Indeed as part of our social responsibility Team AMD visited the camp set up in Isipingo for individuals who fled their homes in Durban, as they had been living in fear. We listened to their laments and desire for peace. Their struggles make us appreciate that we each indeed have shelter, warmth, food and community, so in the spirit of UBUNTU and HARAMBEE, we join hands as we sing UMOJA – AFRICA UNITE!!”

Come enjoy a great marimba band, lots of creative choreographies and compositions by Team AMD in a program that includes Congolese dance, Gumboot dance and Ngoma dance, poetry and percussion.

The free lunch-hour concert takes place today (May 11) from 12h15 to 13h00 in Howard College Theatre.