BENG BENG BENG – Femi Kuti here on Fri!

Femi Kuti*UPDATE: BengBengBeng – don’t miss Femi Kuti guys – it’s this Friday start planning now. We are finding out the concert schedules/times for you and will let you know shortly. * Time for some good news!  We have been waiting a long time to see one of Africa’s most incredible performers in SA.  Get ready for an energetic, sexy, move your bones performance from the inimitable Nigerian SupaFunkArtist Femi Kuti, son of the legendary Fela Kuti right here on Southern African soil.  There’s no excuse not to be there ‘coz it’s a FREE concert in one of Jozi’s coolest places, Mary Fitgerald Square in Newtown, all in celebration of AFRICA day – damn it feels good to be African today.  Lets ALL go downtown.  Support the city, the country and the continent!  If you don’t know Femi, buy his music now.

So put Friday night the 25 May in your diaries now and REPRESENT with more brilliant music from Ringo, the mysterious SAMA winner Lesego, Louis Mhlanga and others on the night… It just gets better on Saturday the 26th May with another free concert in Jukskei Park in Alex featuring Kwaito’s flavour of the moment (We heart LVD) L’VoVo Derango, the soulful Siphokazi and the ever popular Flabba then if you still ain’t partied out, head on over to Mofolo Park SOWETO on Sunday the 27th May for more Femi and our best girl Lira and our main man HHP, hopefully with his full band.  SHO!  It’s seriously jam-packed. 

Here are the details:

The weekend-long Africa Day celebrations are about to commence, and preparations are at an advanced stage for the various events that will take place on the weekend of May 25th.

This years Africa Day activities, hosted by the City of Joburg, the French Institute, Arts Alive, the Lotto and SABC will take place as three free events throughout different areas of Joburg, namely Newtown, Alexandra and Soweto.

The festivities kick off on May 25th, with a concert at the Mary Fitzgerald Square, featuring Nigerian afro-beat star Femi Kuti, South Africa’s Ringo,  Lesego, Corlea  and Louis Mhlanga, Zambian vocalist Lindiwe, Ugandan Kinobe  as well as the Vuvuzela Orchestra.  The concert, which is free to members of the public will be televised on SABC2 and SABC Africa from 22h00 – 00h00 on Friday, 25th May.

The next day, May 26th,  the move is in Alexandra’s Jukskei Park, where a fashion show with a difference will take place along the banks of the Jukskei River, followed by performances by Flabba, L’vovo Derango and Siphokazi, all open to the public at no charge.

The final part of the Afro-centric celebrations takes place at Soweto’s Mofolo Park, where Femi Kuti, Lira, Kinobe, Ziyaduma, HHP and the Vuvuzela Orchestra demonstrate the power of African musical heritage in it’s diverse manifestations – from Afro-jazz to hip-hop and everything in between!

As a day of commemoration, Africa Day was conceptualized by the then OAU (Organisation of African Unity), today known as the African Union (AU) on the 25th May, 1963 as a day to acknowledge, showcase and celebrate the best of African history, heritage and culture. The day represents a day of union amongst African nations where our common cultures and heritage are highlighted, and on this day, Johannesburg joins all Africans in celebrating the continents achievements and in recommitting ourselves to continuing to struggle for a better life for all.

The various artists participating in the weekend-long celebrations are equally excited about the opportunity to participate in a day that has its focus on showcasing Africa’s excellence 

The nation’s most celebrated crooner, Ringo had this to say about his involvement: 
“As an artist who has always been about representing and celebrating the dignity, uniqueness and splendor of African culture, it gives me great pride to join my peers as we celebrate Africa Day this year.  The fact that my performance will be broadcast to more than 40 African countries on SABC Africa gives me even more reason to turn out a performance of a lifetime!! It’s going to be an amazingly African evening, and I can hardly wait to give audiences what they’ve been looking for!”
Lesego, who pays homage to mother Africa on his debut album, had this to say:
“My song ‘Afrika – Viva Tau’ speaks about my love for the incredible diversity and magnificence of the African continent, so it makes complete sense that I’m part of the Africa Day celebrations.  My first year in the music industry has been an incredible experience, and with the love I’ve received from African music lovers, it will be an honour to celebrate Africa Day with some of our continents most amazing artists’.

Comments Lira, who’s smooth and silky tones have made her a firm radio favourite:
“Africa Day represents a beautiful day when we can celebrate ourselves, our culture and our continents amazing achievements – I’m thrilled to be playing at Mofolo Park, and I really am looking forward to celebrating this day with Joburg residents from all over our continent!”

Newcomer Siphokazi is particularly happy to be involved and explains that:
“As an artist, everything I do is inspired by my African-ness – from my artistic presentation, lyrical content and style – Africa is the common thread. It is a true privilege and honour to be able to join an amazing group of artists as part of the Africa Day celebrations in Alexandra.  I have no doubt that we’re going to have a brilliant Africa Day together in the heart of Alex –  Jukskei Park!”
Flabba, who’ll be representing for Hip-Hop at the event on Jukskei Park says:
“I’m the only Hip Hop artist on the bill at the Alexandra show, but feel really comfortable representing for my continent as a hip-hop artist – my music is completely relevant to Africa – it speaks to people’s realities and as an art form, Hip Hop has forged its own African identity, so I’m excited to be playing at an event that’s about celebrating Africa.

Zambian/South African vocalist Lindiwe celebrates the union of Africa that the day represents:
“I’m really excited about performing with such a great roster of artists! As a Zambian/South African performer residing in S.A., Africa Day has especial significance for me, as it represents the unification of our continent. As an artist, I’ve been influenced by so many of Africa’s greatest musicians, and I’m looking forward to performing to a crowd full of Africans from all over the continent as we celebrate our beautiful continent.”

Corlea, who’s become known for her deft treatment of Afro-Jazz contemporary music exclaims:
This represents such an exciting day for me! I’ve worked with some of Africa’s musical giants, and am proud to be developing an African sound of my very own, so it’s fantastic to be able to get onstage and celebrate Africa day with some of the continents most talented performers. It’s going to be a blast of a show, and audiences are really going to see the best of Africa’s musical culture –  that’s a promise!”

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