/ 11 July 2024

Diary: Swingin’ Las Vegas in South Africa, Iyabulele Ilali by Songezo Zantsi and Folklore Festival for 30 days in 3 cities

Songezo Zantsi, Intaba Ezikude, Oil On Board, 46,5 X 46,5 Cm (30 X 30 Cm Excl Frame). (1)
Wedding: A detail of one of Songezo Zantsi’s paintings.

Artist celebrates traditional Xhosa weddings

Songezo Zantsi’s second solo exhibition Iyabulela iLali is a vivid depiction of a traditional Xhosa marriage ceremony. 

Running until August 10 at the Vela Projects gallery in Cape Town, it showcases 11 original paintings inspired by photos Zantsi took at a family wedding in Qumbu, in the Eastern Cape.

The Cape Town artist aims to create a visual archive of South African life. “I’m curious about what culture means for different people,” Zantsi says. His work captures the essence of a wedding in the former Transkei, exploring broader cultural themes.

The paintings use a warm palette to convey the atmosphere. They highlight a procession of men on horseback, symbolising the event’s entertainment. Zantsi’s evolving style merges figurative painting with emotive mark-making, inviting viewers to engage deeply.

Iyabulela iLali is not just art; it’s an invitation to experience the joy and communal spirit of a traditional South African wedding.

Workshops lead up to Joburg’s Folklore Festival

Pilani Bubu

The third edition of the Folklore Festival is set to take place on 14 September at the Women’s Jail at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg. 

Leading up to that, there will be workshops over 30 days in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. They are curated by festival director Pilane Bubu, who says: “Our goal is to build and grow our community by creating intimate bonding moments and focusing on multiple art disciplines.”

The festival, themed around “30 years of Freedom”, will launch the creative platform for “2024: #Wethefolk”. 

There will be a line-up of artivists and storytellers, including authors, filmmakers, thespians, oral traditionalists, poets and musicians at the festival. 

The event is family-friendly and a special kids’ area will be provided with activities they can participate in.

Swingin’ Las Vegas  in town

The Teatro at Montecasino will host Swingin’ Las Vegas for eight shows only, from 12 to 21 July. 

Swingin’ Las Vegas pays tribute to stars such as Elvis, Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack, Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones, as well as modern icons such as Michael Bublé, Robbie Williams, Adele and Amy Winehouse. 

Adam Howard & The Vocalists From Swingin' Las Vegas Photo Credit Vividimages Photography. Photo 11 (1) (1)
Golden Oldies: Bandleader Adam Howard and the vocalists from Swingin’ Las Vegas. Photo: Vivid Images Photography

The 18-piece Johannesburg Big Band, conducted by Adam Howard, will also be playing, featuring local artists including Craig Urbani, Corlea, Timothy Moloi and Harry Sideropoulos.

Expect to hear classics such as Fly Me to the Moon by Count Basie and Frank Sanatra; Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin and Rolling in the Deep by Adele. 

Produced by Howard Events with The CoLab Network, shows are Fridays at 7.30pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 7.30pm and Sundays at 2pm. — Compiled by Lesego Chepape