UKZN’s African Music and Dance (AMD) discipline will host the highly anticipated 11th Annual African Cultural Calabash & African Cuisine at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the Howard College Campus on October 14.
The event is hosted by third year African Music Outreach: Community Development students under the theme Soul of Africa in One Voice. AMD student, Philani Thabethe said: “We chose the theme simply because we feel that it encompasses the spirit and unity of Africa. The concert itself showcases a variety of African music and dances from across the continent and pays homage to Africa and its soul and diversity.
“The Calabash itself is an institution. We’ve seen regular concert-goers and newcomers to the event. They’ve always described it as an amazing, learning experience. The concert makes us appreciate what Africa has, and is a celebration of our cultures and heritage,” he added.
The evening’s guest speaker is storyteller, Lungisani Mavundla from Ukhozi FM, who is known for creating a platform for grooming and developing upcoming and young poets.
Headlining the concert is Maskandi Bahubhe from uMzinto Jolvet, who joined the music industry as a recording artist in 2011, releasing three albums Kuyasinda (2011), Mpundula (2014) and Iquantum (2015). Bahube is reputed to be one of the best dancers/singers/storytellers in the maskandi genre. He is a three-time award nominee for Capital KZN, SATMA, Amantshontsho KaMaskandi and Maz Maskandi for Best Maskandi, new-comer.
Other acts for the night include Ubukhipha from Hluhluwe performing isigekle dance. They are the winners of the Sakhisizwe awards for best attire in 2013 and as best performers in 2015. B’Scent-Shantu Musik Hausa-Fulani music and dance from Northern Nigeria featuring the unique Shantu calabash. B’Scent recently performed at the Loveworld music festival (2014).
Legon Palmwine Band will perform Palmwine guitar music, an intricate Ghanaian guitar finger picking style that accompanies Akan storytelling. Nyuswa Home Boys isicathamiya vocal singers, are four- time national isicathamiya champions at the Durban Playhouse, SATMA awardee for best isicathamiya (2009) and winners of Isolezwe’s isicathamiya competition. The group is led by Thando Nu Luthuli who also teaches isicathamiya in the UKZN African Music and Dance program. Nyuswa Home Boys have performed in Brazil, USA, and China. Izanusi Zosiba, Zulu poets Sabelo Mvelase and Brian Gwamanda will also add their flavour of poetry.
‘We’ve put in a lot of our time, effort and dedication to the concert. And we hope that everyone comes to see and enjoy themselves, to learn about Africa and to display pride in where they come from. We have so much to offer as South Africans but also as Africans. This concert brings us all together to share and celebrate our diversity,’ said Thulisiwe Mdakane, AMD student.
Dr Patricia Opondo, lecturer for the module added that “hosting the African Cultural Calabash provides an important learning experience for our final year students as they learn how to curate a folk-life festival event and handle all the responsibilities involved in organising an event of this magnitude. It also provides a great platform for artists from various genres of music/dance and from different parts of Africa to converge and share their cultural heritage.”
The 11th Annual African Cultural Calabash & African Cuisine takes place at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the Howard College Campus on October 14 at 19h30. Refreshments will be served after the concert, featuring popular African cuisine and enticing African dishes. Tickets R70 (R35 students) can be purchased from Thuli Zama on Zamat1@ukzn.ac.za or Philani Thabethe on firstname.lastname@example.org
This project is supported by an ANT Funding Grant from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Additionally funding is from the National Arts Council of South Africa, Concerts SA and SAMRO Foundation