national Arts Festival Banner

Sunday, September 13, 2015


(Jerry Pooe at Wushwini)

The Wushwini Arts Culture and Heritage Centre, spearheaded by its founder, Jerry Pooe, will host a five-day arts festival titled Botho Heritage Festival ‘umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’. This exciting cultural initiative runs from September 16 to 20 at Wushwini, overlooking the scenic Inanda Dam in KwaZulu-Natal’s famed Valley of 1000 Hills.

“This second annual festival is given in salute of South Africa’s 21 Years of Democracy and 60 years of freedom charter while celebrating our freedom as South Africans,” says Pooe. “We also celebrate who we are. Without our heritage, our culture, our roots, our history, we are a lost nation. ‘Botho’ is a Sotho word meaning ‘ubuntu’. Non practice of ubuntu, which is what defines us as Africans, leaves us soulless humans. It is thus we stage "Botho" by beating the drums to revive ubuntu bethu.”

Botho Heritage Festival features a vibrant programme of acts by a strong line-up of groups, artists and companies from KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Swaziland, USA, Congo, Free State, Western Cape, Burundi and Zimbabwe showcasing quality dance, music, theatre, storytelling, craft, exhibitions and praise poetry.

“We are sincerely grateful to EThekwini Municipality and KZN Department of Arts and Culture for supporting the festival, not forgetting all the participants who believe in the vision of this festival and all Wushwini and Eager Artists staff for the hard work in ensuring the success of this festival,” adds Pooe.

Drumming to Unite Africa, the festival’s opening event, is directed by Bongumusa and Musawenkosi Shabalala. This will be held on September 16 from 19h00 to 2h00. The audience will drum, calling for peace while celebrating 21 years of democracy. They will be greeted by a spectacular pageant of images and movement from Zulu dancers, Shembe movement practitioners and Isicathamiya artists, promising a colourful event that will linger in the memories of all who experience it.

Drumming will be followed by Athol Furgard's The Island, Directed by Peter Mitchell.

The Festival opens at 10h00 on September 16 with the hour-long story-telling session named Zimnandi Embawuleni directed by Bheki Mqadi. Along with other performances, other daytime attractions, include Woza Albert directed by Peter Mitchell at 12 noon.

From September 17 to 20 daily from 10h00 to 21h00 there will be a feast of theatre, music concert, storytelling, praise poetry and the launch of heritage exhibition.

Sibongile Khumalo will perform on September 19 at 20h00  and Madala Kunene will performa on September 20 at 17h00.

The Botho Heritage International Festival 2015 concludes on September 20 with a six-hour programme of dance, isicathamiya and maskandi starting at 12 noon. Titled Celebrating Diverse Cultures Through Dance and Song, this enables the audience members to share and embrace a wide spectrum of cultures through performances of Bhaca Dance, Zulu Dance, Indian Dance, Portuguese Dance, Umshado Dance, Isigekle and Gumboot Dance.

Tickets R25 per show and R100 a day pass. The Sbongile Khumalo and Madala Kunene's concerts tickets will be R50. Tickets will be available at the gate or booked in advance on 083 472 9795 and 060 528 2369.

For more information or directions to Wushwini Arts Culture and Heritage Centre, visit