March 1, 2012 |
They have raised their stirring voices before Nelson Mandela, the Prince of Wales, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. They have performed with Diana Ross, Bono, and Celine Dion. They have sung lush harmonies and danced to traditional rhythms at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and the Royal Festival Hall in London. And on a cold and rainy Wednesday afternoon, the Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa performed in the muggy gymnasium of Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on State Road before 175 inmates.
June 13, 2011 |
The Soweto Kinch Quartet, which puts a radically different spin on the phrase "mad dogs and Englishmen," possesses in its style more than a little of the former and lots, of course, of the latter. But Kinch's music, both played and spoken, harks back to the newer Birmingham, the one in Alabama, as much as or more than the one he comes from across the pond. Kinch's oeuvre is as much about the blues as it is about any of the other African diasporal musics that have given him roots. In his tonality, the small, physical altoist comes off like a Brixton street urchin who was adopted by Joe Zawinul.
June 11, 2010 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The colors of Bafana Bafana, the affectionate nickname bestowed upon South Africa's national team, are lime green and lemon yellow. And the colors are everywhere. On billboards, attached to rearview mirrors, worn in jersey form by nearly everyone working in the service industry, worn by those simply excited for this event, and worn by "The Boys" themselves, who on Friday will kick off the 2010 FIFA World Cup by playing Mexico inside artistic Soccer City, the tournament's marquee venue that holds 88,460 and is located a few winding kilometers from downtown Johannesburg.
January 29, 2010 |
In only eight years, South Africa's Soweto Gospel Choir has prominently presented its homeland's musical riches to the world. A gorgeous blend of South Africa's considerable church choral legacy and the myriad vocal traditions native to the region - the SGC sings in six of the country's 11 official languages - the 26-member road ensemble has toured extensively. The choir performs tomorrow night in a sold-out show at the Annenberg Center's Zellerbach Theatre. Two successive Grammys for Best Contemporary World Music Album(s)
December 9, 2008 |
Voices raised to the rafters, and the heavens, the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir spreads its ministry through song. Since its founding in 2002 in Soweto, South Africa, the choir has performed for Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton. Soweto Gospel, which sings in six of South Africa's 11 official languages, also has accompanied stars such as Diana Ross, Bono and Queen. Tomorrow, the choir takes the stage here at the Kimmel Center, offering listeners the gospel, and seeking donations at show's end for children assisted through its AIDS charity.
January 26, 2007 |
At the start of Amajuba, Tshallo Chokwe announces, "Back home, there is nothing special about our stories, but tonight we will tell them. " Sadly, in South Africa, the five stories told by the cast probably aren't special. But here, at the Annenberg Center, they are still shocking, not least because of the universality of some of their elements. When Jabulile Tshabalala says of violence-wracked Soweto that she "hated this country where we go to more funerals than weddings in our lives," it doesn't take a great leap to land in Philadelphia, which saw nearly a murder a day in 2006.
March 29, 1998 |
His name was Hector Peterson; he was 12 years old. And his violent death marked the beginning of the end of apartheid. Yesterday, nearly 22 years later, President Clinton came to South Africa's most conspicuous black township to honor Peterson and countless others who gave their lives to the long struggle against white-minority rule. That an American president would visit the site that so singularly symbolizes black South African resistance was yet another sign of just how far this nation has come in the seven years since apartheid began to be dismantled.
December 7, 1997 |
Not many people have the capacity to shrug off eight days of testimony from nearly 40 witnesses linking them to an assortment of murders, assaults and tortures. But there are not many people in the world like Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Nelson Mandela's ex-wife emerged from an extraordinary session of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission last week unrepentant, unbowed and, for the most part, undamaged by a fusillade of testimony indicating that she directed a terroristic gang of youths during the antiapartheid struggle.
December 3, 1997 |
As the hearings on Winnie Madikizela-Mandela labored through a seventh day yesterday, officials suggested that she and her supporters were threatening those who would testify against her. In one example of the alleged intimidation, Archbishop Desmond Tutu admonished Madikizela-Mandela's lawyer, Ishmael Semenya, for suggesting that one witness against her had been a police spy during the apartheid years. "Even today that is almost a death sentence," said Tutu, chairman of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
November 27, 1997 |
The Rev. Paul Verryn sat behind his desk yesterday at the Central Methodist Mission in Johannesburg, exhausted from the sermon he had delivered - not from the pulpit, but from the witness stand. "It was good for me to be able to face Mrs. Mandela directly and it was good for me to have a chance to say to her what I said to her," said Verryn. Hours earlier, Verryn, 45, had wept as he told South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission that he had failed to protect a 14-year-old boy who was abducted from Verryn's house nine years ago and then beaten to death by loyalists of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.