Mandela memorial concert planned in PTA

Mourners in Pretoria will be treated to a concert in honour of Nelson Mandela on Wednesday night. (Reuters)

Mourners in Pretoria will be treated to a concert in honour of Nelson Mandela on Wednesday night. (Reuters)

Popular sentiment post the Nelson Mandela memorial service on Tuesday was that there was not enough singing, dancing and celebrating.

But Wednesday night could rectify that when South Africa's artistic royalty will honour Madiba in song, dance and the spoken word at the State Theatre in Pretoria.

Co-artistic director Sibongile Khumalo (alongside Aubrey Sekhabi) said: "This is an opportunity for South African performers to come together and, through cultural expression and reflection, pay tribute to a man who honoured and appreciated South African artists. Madiba was a patriot who showed us all that it is possible to have a vision for this country and live for it."

The line-up includes actor Jerry Mofokeng, who will introduce the story of Mandela and his origins, musicians Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse and Dr Sello Galane, poets Gcina Mholope and Mak Manaka, singers Simphiwe Dana and Ayanda Nhlangothi, Gauteng Choristers conducted by Sidwell Mhlongo, Jessica Mbangeni in collaboration with A Drumming Troupe and the Vuyani Dance Theatre.

Excerpts from the play, The Rivonia Trial, will provide the golden thread through which the reflection will unfold in the voices of Sello Maake ka Ncube, Fezile Mpela, Harriet Manamela, David James, Renos Spaundolos, Xolile Tshabalala, Tshallo Chokow and Max Papo.

Perhaps glaringly missing from the stellar cast is singer Thandiswa Mazwai, who is one of the most influential musicians in South Africa today. She tweeted that despite not being invited to perform, she will still be there to send Madiba off; to which Sipho Hotstix immediately replied on the social network: "Come and perform".
Concert goers could perhaps be in for a surprise performance from King Tha on Wednesday evening.

Concert details
The concert is free and starts at 7.30pm and will continue well into the night to accommodate those who will have gone to pay their respects to Madiba, who is currently lying in state at the Union Buildings. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

The Nelson Mandela Memorial Concert is supported by the arts and culture department, its structures and non-governmental organisations in the arts.

Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine

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