Arts and Culture

Anthems of Democracy to celebrate 20 years of SA freedom

Staff Reporter

British singer, songwriter and guitarist Joan Armatrading and a line-up of celebrated South African musicians will appear at Anthems of Democracy.

The production of Anthems of Democracy is made up of artists whose songs and poems became anthems for the fight for democracy. (Supplied)

Anthems of Democracy is a series of concerts that coincide with the country's 20 years of democracy celebrations.

The concerts are being produced for Jo'burg Theatre by Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse and Roddy Quin. Quin staged the banned 1989 Human Rainbow Concert, which joined black and white South African artists on the same stage.

The production of Anthems of Democracy is made up of artists whose songs and poems became anthems for the fight for democracy.

During Freedom Week in April 2014 (April 24 to April 27), artists such as Joan Armatrading, Bright Blue, Yvonne Chaka, Jennifer Ferguson, Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse, Victor Masondo, Mzwakhe Mbuli, Themba Mkhize, Vicky Sampson and the Soweto Gospel Choir will be on the stage.

The emotional story of the times, when many of the artists featured in the concert stood great risks of being detained for writing songs and poems against the regime, will be narrated on stage by South African storyteller and author Gcina Mhlope.

"During the period of 1980 to 1990, a group of South African musicians were very active in protesting against the then government of South Africa," says the theatre's Bernard Jay.

"Anthems of Democracy features many of these artists whose songs became songs of hope and encouragement through troubled times.  At such an emotionally important time as the 20th anniversary of democracy, Jo'burg Theatre honours these artists and pays tribute to them and all the other artists who fought for democracy in their country."

Performances will be on Thursday April 24 and Friday April 25 at 7.30pm and Saturday April 26 at 3pm and 7.30pm. Tickets cost between R160 to R300 and are on sale through www.joburgtheatre.com  or 0861 670 670. 

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