This year South Africans around the world are marking the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s historic Presidential election. Held on April 24, 1994, it was the country’s first election in which adults of all races were able to cast a vote. The African National Congress won a sweeping victory winning 62% of the electorate and Mandela took office as South Africa’s first black President. You don’t need to fly to South Africa to join the festivities. An array of don’t miss events is taking place right now across New York, which also coincide with PlayCo’s production of the South African themed generations. Here are a few of the highlights in October.
Canegie Hall – Ubuntu: Music and Arts of South Africa Festival throughout October.
Roughly translated “ubuntu” means “I am here because you are here”. It is a South African philosophy emphasizing community that has also influenced the spirit of reconciliation in the post-apartheid years. This month Carnegie Hall hosts a series of musical events celebrating the distinctive sounds of South African artists, invoking the ubuntu spirit of inclusiveness and diversity. Bongi Duma, the Composer and Musical Arranger for Generations, will perform a show for all ages. According the the Ubuntu website, Bongi will take families on “a joyous interactive musical journey to South Africa.” The performance is at 3:00 on October 12 at the Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Avenue, Brooklyn. Here’s the complete calendar of Ubuntu events.
“Sounds of Freedom” Panel Discussion, October 8 – Ubuntu Festival
On Wednesday October 8, The Ubuntu Educational Fund and Carnegie Hall will host an evening of music, reflection, and discussion. Dr. Frank Lipman joins the legendary musician Hugh Masekela and others to discuss how music can serve as a tool for social activism and the role it played during the anti-apartheid movement. For more information visit the event page on the Festival website.
Africa Now: South African Mainstage Concert, October 11 – Apollo Theater
Hugh Masekela hosts Xhosa singer Simphiwe Dana, a-capella group The Soil, and hip-hop artist and poet Tumi Molekane on the Apollo mainstage on October 11. Presented by The Apollo Theater and World Music Institute, this featured concert is a part of their popular African Now Festival and celebrates the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s inauguration and Harlem’s enduring relationship with the country of South Africa. For more information or to purchase tickets visit the ticketing page.
Grey Art NYU Gallary hosting an exhibit of Ernest Cole’s photography now through December 6.
As a young black South African Ernest Cole dreamed of becoming a doctor. But in the 1950s the government formalized into law the de facto apartheid policies and the educational door was shut to him. Instead he picked up a camera and began documenting the lives of black South Africans under apartheid. For further reading on Cole’s life and work, check out this New York Times article and for more information about the exhibition visit the Grey Art Gallary’s site.
For a more complete list of events happening in New York throughout the year visit the New York South Africa Consulate’s calendar page. We hope you’ll take advantage of the schedule events and experience the work of these amazing artists.