October 26, 2014 |
A friend's young daughter, visiting from her home in South Africa, once told me, "It's not a matter of if something terrible will happen to you, but when, and how bad will it be?" Such is the legacy of apartheid explored in Pamela Gien's The Syringa Tree . In this Theatre Horizon production, terrible - often very, very terrible - things happen, but also beautiful things, made even more so by the challenges her characters face, both internal and external. Gien descends from British South Africans, a group who under apartheid occupied a place slightly to the left of Afrikaners (of mostly Dutch ancestry)
July 21, 2014 |
SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA - Norman Nobela, a 21-year-old Soweto resident, traveled a few blocks from home to pitch in at yesterday's Mandela Day of Service, an annual event similar to the Martin Luther King Day of Service in Philadelphia. Working alongside him to spruce up the Emathonsini Old Age Home in the city's Moroka neighborhood were 11 students from Temple University who'd traveled about 8,000 miles farther. The Temple student helpers included three from the Philly area: Janice Durrant of Hunting Park, Cambriae Bates from Southwest Philadelphia and Taylor Lumpkin from Lumberton, N.J. Durrant said she found Mandela Day to be "so beautiful" because it attracts participants from all walks of life in South Africa, including the poorest of poor who "already have so little but get up to do something for someone else.
July 1, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG - Paying tribute to his personal hero, President Obama met privately Saturday with Nelson Mandela's family. Obama, who has spoken movingly about the ailing 94-year-old antiapartheid leader throughout his trip to Africa, praised the former South African president's "moral courage" during remarks from the grand Union Buildings where Mandela was inaugurated as his nation's first black president. Obama also called on the continent's leaders, including in neighboring Zimbabwe, to take stock of Mandela's willingness to put country before self and step down after one term despite his immense popularity.
July 1, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of protesters marched to the U.S. Embassy in South Africa on Friday in a peaceful protest against the impending visit by President Obama. The demonstrators opposed U.S. policy on Cuba, the war in Afghanistan, global warming, and other issues. The rally in Pretoria was organized by trade unionists and members of the South African Communist Party. The protesters want to raise public awareness and warn U.S. citizens about human-rights violations committed by the Obama administration, which includes the nonclosure of the Guantanamo Bay prison holding terrorism suspects, said campaign coordinator Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
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.