CityLife Arts

Music and visual art bingeing at South African State Theatre to end Women’s Month celebrations in Covid-19 conscious style

By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor

This year is the second year in a row that Women’s Month festivities have taken place under the dark cloud of a world pandemic. First time was last year, and by this time last year, the country had just emerged from the first wave of the coronavirus, and things were starting to shape up for the better.

The tourism sector for example, was reactivating its programmes after it was left battered and bruised by the effects of the lockdown of the first wave. At the time there was a lot of uncertainty and anxiety as to whether this virus was going to linger among us longer than the first wave.

Now the country is emerging out of the third wave and clearly the virus will be with us for much longer than we would love it to. This is the reality of our times, and what this suggests is economic and social activities will have to take place within the difficult context of the virus. In other words, economic and social activities will have to find a way of existing in the context of this danger in our midst, and thank goodness, the programme of vaccinating South Africans is now in full swing, unlike last year when by this time we were still talking about a vaccine that was still in its early stages of trial.

Now the vaccines are here and people are receiving their jabs, and in a way, this gives us a level of certainty and easiness as we go about with our social and economic activities with certain levels of protection from the deadly virus.

It is in line with this context that Women’s Month activities in August have been taking place with caution and more confidence among organisers and audiences, than last year, but taking place they are.

The State Theatre in Pretoria will be wrapping up its Women’s Month programme through a music and visual art  bingeing sessions that promise to be as memorable as they will be cognizant of the social distancing imperative. The two day music event will  take place at the end of August, while the visual art experience in the form of an art installation is currently on  till August 24, 2021.

The music line up programme comprises established as well as new and fresh talent from whom audiences will take a lot.

And therefore to wrap up the Women’s Month Celebrations (WMC), SAMA award winner and multiple platinum selling Afro-soul sensation Ami Faku will headline a two-day concert series at the South African State Theatre (SAST) on 28 and 29 August 2021, under the banner The year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Realising Women’s Rights.

Ami Faku shares the billing with six phenomenal female musical geniuses in Afro-soul, Afro-pop, and jazz genres. such are: Ncamisa Nqana, Amogelang Ralebepa, Dudu Makhoba, Gina Mabasa, Mana Komba and Rivoningo ‘Bonny’ Nkuna.

From appearing in the singing competition The Voice SA in 2017, Ami Faku (Amandla Faku) undoubtedly accelerated to stardom and became one of the remarkable female vocalists in the country. In 2020 she was named Best Female Artist at the SAMAs and certified Most Streamed Woman Artist in SA by music streaming platform Deezer. Her debut album Imali (2019) reached gold status, whilst songs Indle Lendela and Imali both went platinum and Into Ngawe clocked triple platinum.

The SAST’s WMC concerts are aimed at celebrating the women of 1956 and countless others that set the tone for gender equality and empowerment in a democratic South Africa. This year marks 65 years since the watershed 1956 women’s march to the Union Buildings in protest of the extension of Pass Laws to women.

Besides music, the State Theatre is also observing WMC with an exhibition WOMEN FOR THE UNIFICATION OF AFRICA by Lindiwe Hlatswayo.

The visual art installation is inspired by strong, bold, resilient, empowering, and authentic black women that are occupying spaces which they were previously denied access to. Making use of beadwork as a medium, Hlatswayo depicts women as the water, air, and fire of ‘the African revolution’- A revolution taking place amongst Africans and the diaspora. The exhibition is now open to the public for free viewing until 29 August.

Adhering to strict Covid-19 regulations, the concert series will follow an electric outdoor LIVE music experience, deliberately set to inspire a social market feel. Revellers can anticipate a feast of song, art, fashion, and food to devour. R250 warrants a Full Weekend Pass. Tickets are sold only at Webtickets outlets: Website, Pick n Pay counters, and the SAST’s box office.

Ticket information and event information

R250 Full Weekend Pass Saturday 28 August (R150 full day pass for 3 artists:

Amogelang Ralebepa, Gina Mabasa, ManaKomba and Women for the Unification of Africa (Visual Arts Exhibition).

Sunday 29 August (R200 full day pass for 4 artists)

Ami Faku, Dudu  Makhoba, Ncamisa Nqana, Rivoningo “Bonny” Nkuna, and Women for the Unification of Africa (Visual Arts Exhibition).

Tickets are sold only at Webtickets outlets: Website, Pick n Pay counters, and State Theatre’s box office.

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