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Thursday, December 3, 2015


(Simphiwe Shembe with Dawn Thandeka King & Bonga Dlamini)

Join songbird Sibongile Mngoma, soap-star Dawn Tandeka King, members of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, rappers, poets, choirs and comedians on December 16, South Africa’s Day of Reconciliation, in an extraordinary cross-cultural experience in one of Durban’s most scenic and secret locales.

Funded by the National Lotteries Commission, The Heritage Development Trust is proud to present The House of Shaka, in a day-long celebration of enchanting choral music, Indian and Zulu dancing, poetry, crafts, heritage, cultural appreciation... and more.

This vibrant programme, which aims to reach out to disparate communities in a spirit of true reconciliation and sharing, is set to take place in the grounds of the glorious historic Coedmore Castle, situated in the magnificent precinct of Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve in Durban’s Yellowwood Park. Gates open at 09h00 and festivities run until 16h30.

There will be performances during the course of the day by myriad performers. Featured in the line-up will be rapper Ntokozo Zakwe; comedian Simphiwe Shembe; Sboniso da Poet; 5th Season and cultural performances by various folk and traditional groups.

The centrepiece of the day’s programme, entitled, House of Shaka – The Musical, has been composed by and will be conducted by Professor Musa Xulu, featuring soloists and members of the award-winning Clermont Community Choir along with the House of Shaka Ensemble.

The musical is for voices, soloists, chorus, given by the House of Shaka Ensemble of 22 voices and the House of Shaka Chorus, which in 2015 will consist of 60 voices from the Clermont Community Choir. It has piano and orchestral scores added to the music through various collaborations, and limited movement, to act out the music in selected intervals.

This will be performed between 13h00 and 14h30. Songs in the musical include: Nandi’s aria, Shaka’s Aria and Chorus, Dinuzulu House of Shaka, Mafukuzela We Zulu, In Praise of Luthuli, Martin Luther King - Luthuli uXolo, God Bless Africa, South Africa, Land of Freedom and many others.

There are guest performances in selected solo parts – including opera-trained diva Sibongile Mngoma who is very much at home singing jazz, classical music and gospel and Dawn Tandeka King of local SABC series, Uzalo. Performing with the soloists will be members of the KZN Philharmonic.

This will be the first public staging, followed by a live recording and studio recording during February, 2016 and a finale concert of the season in Empangeni during March, 2016.

The idea is to bring a picnic and enjoy the day as you experience the unique power of music to communicate and enlighten beyond the reach of the spoken word, as a powerful means of storytelling.

WiFi connectivity will be available throughout the venue, which offers access to both Coedmore Castel and the Nature Reserve. Game viewing is to be enjoyed and braai packs will be available. There will be a big screen at 15h30 so that soccer enthusiasts don’t miss the big game.

There will be an exhibition in the Mary Stainbank Gallery featuring art work of prisoners which strongly talks to the Reconciliation theme.

Gates open at 09h00 and festivities run until 16h30.

There is NO public parking on site.

A park and ride facility has been set up, offering free safe parking at nearby New Forest High School with regular shuttles to and from the festival site. Festival goers are advised to proceed directly to New Forest High School and catch a shuttle from there. There will also be shuttles from the Playhouse to the Reserve.

For further details and to enquire about shuttle services or directions contact 035 772 1893 or visit Booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or online at

(Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve is situated at 90 Coedmore Road. Take the Southern Freeway out of Durban, turn off at the Montclair /Clairwood off ramp and turn right under the freeway. Go left into South Coast Road and follow this to the entrance to Yellowwood Park. From there, follow the signposts to the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve.)