The African Music Outreach Community Development Class within the School of Arts hosted its 16th African Cultural Calabash Festival under the theme of Sounds of Peace Imvunge Yokuthula.
The event featured local artists including Mjolisi, a maskandi guitarist; Mandisa, a spiritual African indigenous vocalist; Victor Sithole, a player of a variety of indigenous African instruments and the UKZN Andrew Mellon Foundation Artist-in-Residence in the African Music and Dance (AMD) programme; vocalist LilyFaith, charismatic, multitalented Queen of versatility, and UKZN AMD Students (AMD3) presented a modern mix of umshado.
LilyFaith’s opening song was aligned with the theme of the event – she performed Sound of Peace followed by ekhaya and Kuvela Kuwe, ‘My second song was inspired by my family who live far from me and so sometimes when I am missing home, I listen to it. I wrote it during a time when I longed to see my family,’ she said.
Mjolisi, who shared the stage with two guitarists, sang Baba ka Enzo and Konakelephi. ‘Gender-based violence in our country is getting worse and the song Konakelephi focuses on the issue of women being killed in South Africa.
Said Sithole: ‘I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to share my work with people from Africa – I get great pleasure working with young people to promote African music. My two songs were titled Kwagedegede, Fele’e mkhontweni and Umthandazo wetshe.’
UKZN African Music and Dance members, Nokubonga Xolo and Sizwe Xulu said they were thankful for the support they had received while preparing for their performance.
Dr Patricia Opondo congratulated students who featured in the successful 16th Calabash edition. ‘Its exciting to mentor enthusiastic students who featured in the festival and then to have a magnificent end product which we all proudly take collective ownership of. The ability to present online concerts during a very difficult year in the cultural sector is rewarding. Well done Team Calabash!’