Artists to give Madiba a standing ovation

11 December 2013

An array of local artists will pay homage to the life and legacy of former president Nelson Mandela at a free concert at the South African State Theatre in Pretoria on Wednesday night.

The event, which will celebrate Mandela’s life through song, dance, storytelling and theatrical performances, will start at 7.30 pm and continue well into the night. Seating is on a first come, first served basis, and secure underground parking is available at the theatre.

The line-up includes an inter-generational mix of performers including Sipho Mabuse, Gcina Mhlophe, Simphiwe Dana, Dr Sello Galane, the Gauteng Choristers conducted by Sidwell Mhlongo, Jessica Mbangeni in collaboration with a drumming troupe, Vuyani Dance Theatre, Mak Manaka and Ayanda Nhlangothi.

Actor Jerry Mofokeng will introduce the story of Mandela and his origins.

Excerpts from the play The Rivonia Trial will provide the linking thread through which the reflection will unfold in the voices of Sello Maake ka Ncube, Fezile Mpela, Harriet Manamela, David James, Renos Spaundolos, Xolile Tshabalala, Tshallo Chokow and Max Papo.

Soprano and jazz singer Sibongile Khumalo, co-director of the event along with State Theatre artistic director Aubrey Sekhabi, said on Tuesday that it was “an opportunity for South African performers to come together and through cultural expression and reflection, pay tribute to a man who honoured and appreciated South African artists.”

Khumalo said the performances would focus on capturing the current mood of the people, which is reflective, celebratory, honouring and humanising.

“Madiba was a patriot, who showed us all that it is possible to have a vision for this country and live for it,” she said.

The Nelson Mandela Memorial Concert is supported by the national Department of Arts and Culture, its structures and non-governmental organisations in the arts.