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Composer, musician and cultural activist Neo Muyanga is a creative energy whose contribution to South Africa's cultural life has been impressive.
Analyst at the Institute of Security Studies, Judith February, and co-curator of the Pan Africa Space Station, Ntone Edjabe, discuss Muyanga’s life and career in this podcast.
Muyanga grew up in Soweto during the years of student protests. His parents sent him to Bloemfontein - then Botswana – and later the United World College of Italy in Trieste to study philosophy and physics, but music eventually got its hooks into him and he fell in love.
He became an international star with his afro-pop-acoustic-hip-hop-jazz outfit, Blk Sunshine, and continues to fuse African and European music and myths, putting him at the forefront of the creative avant-garde. From classical to hip-hop, jazz to pop, and electric guitar to opera, he’s a born composer and powerful storyteller on a quest to understand the world. He’s a creative force for Africa.
Muyanga co-curates the Pan African Space Station, a cross-cultural digital music platform and music events organisation. He is a fellow of the Aspin Global Leadership Initiative, a research fellow at the University of the Western Cape and has a WISER–DUKE writing fellowship.
Muyanga is currently working on an opera on Nelson Mandela’s life.
Judith February is an analyst at the Institute of Security Studies. She’s interested in good governance and transparency, and the law as a tool for advocacy. She’s a highly regarded columnist and commentator, who has a keen interest in culture.
Joining Judith is Ntone Edjabe, a writer, journalist, DJ, basketball coach and founding editor of Chimurenga magazine. Ntone is co-curator, with Neo, of the Pan African Space Station.
Extraordinary Lives is a biographical podcast series that celebrates the contributions that remarkable people have made to South Africa and the world. A well-known guest discusses the life of an extraordinary person who has inspired them.
Extraordinary Lives is inspired by the BBC's "Great Lives", and is presented by Jonathan Ancer. It is produced by Triple World Score Media.