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Tuesday, October 22, 2019


(Josee Atumenga: a KiSwahili poet performing at Botho Festival
in a piece called “Mimi NiAfrika”)

Wushwini Pan African Centre alongside Inanda Dam stages its ground-breaking Botho Heritage Festival from October 23 to 27.

Wushwini Pan African Centre, spearheaded by its founder, Jerry Pooe, will host a five-day arts festival titled Botho Heritage International Festival ‘umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’. This annual cultural initiative runs from October 23 to 27 at Wushwini, overlooking the scenic Inanda Dam in KwaNgcolosi, KwaZulu-Natal.

Says Festival Director Jerry Pooe: “We warmly welcome all our Botho Heritage International Festival artists and audiences. This sixth annual festival is given in salute of South Africa’s 25 Years of Democracy, while celebrating our freedom as South Africans. 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 the festival by beating the drums to revive ubuntu bethu.”

(Left: “Relentless”)

“Botho Heritage Festival features a vibrant programme of acts by a strong line-up of groups and companies from KwaZulu-Natal, Uganda, Botswana, Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Gauteng and Free State, showcasing quality dance, music, theatre, storytelling, exhibitions literature, fashion, crafts, wine tasting and 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. We invite you to participate and to enjoy the rare experience in our Kingdom.”

Sacred Music Sacred Sounds, the festival’s opening event, is directed by Jerry Pooe and Bongumusa Shabalala featuring Victor Sithole, Omama Besigekle, Volley Nchabeleng, Omama BaseWushwini, Xolani Henema, Nhlakanipho Maphumulo and Madala Kunene. This will be held on October 23 from 19h00 to 20h00 as the official launch of the festival. The performance will introduce audiences in deep African roots through indigenous sounds and melodies reminding Africans who they are.

(Right: “Sebenza”)

On the same day there will be a feast of theatre performances from 11h00 such as Iso Lomona, The Dress, Bafana’s Proposal, for the community and learners.

This will be followed on October 24 by The Tribe, Umagejageja, Aluta Continua theatre pieces, a workshop at 13h00 by Baby Cele of Uzalo on Acting For Television, then Imvunge Yezinkonkoni and Isisekelo dance pieces, closing the night with an internationally acclaimed Mother Africa and Her Melodies by Volley Nchabeleng, followed by Fashion show co-ordinated by Nguni Shades and Wine Tasting.

(Left: “Rooilug”)

The programme on October 25 opens at 11h00 with The Power of Amahubo Workshop by an expert on indigenous music, Mbuso Khoza, followed by an award-winning production Rooilug by Jefferson,J, Dirks-Korkee, Morwa an award and international acclaimed production from Botswana by Tefo Paya, You Are An Eagle a story-telling production from Gauteng, Ukama, A numerous award winning production from Zimbabwe, Ilanga Musical from North West, closing the evening with DJ BROWN.

On October 26, there will be a feast of indigenous celebration featuring IMVUMO from different groups, Khoi San dancers, Griqualand dancers, Basotho Dancers with maskandi explosion featuring KHUZANI, Matshitshi Ngema, Mancushe, Izintombi Zengidi, Amachube Amahle and local groups the programme will be directed by Dudu Khoza of Ukhozi FM. The night will be closed by the battle of the local DJ’s. In the library we will also have Sir Roel Twinstra (Netherlands) and Dr Emma Durden (SA) Introducing their three theatre books.

On October 27, the festival will close with Music Meets Poetry featuring Bongani Mavuso a celebrated poet, Samukelisiwe Mthethwa from Swaziland, Josee Apumanga DRC, Bongani Nkwanyana, Naema K, Bongani Baai and DJ Muntu.

Botho Heritage International Festival tickets are R20 per show for theatre and dance and R50 for a day pass. The Saturday’ Maskandi Explosion and Sunday’s Music Meets Poetry tickets are R50. For more information contact Zethu Phoswa 067 230 4214.