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Local artists will be performing alongside their counterparts from other African countries at Mary Fitzgerald Square for the annual free Africa Day concert.

A unique blend of lilting and hypnotic African rhythms will captivate audiences at this year‘s Africa Day celebrations, again being held at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown.

The Africa Day Concert at the square, on Saturday, 23 May, will feature many well-known African artists, such as internationally renowned Nigerian vocalist Asa. Other artists in the line-up include Senegalese hip-pioneer Awani, Benin's Gang' be and Yuri da Cunha from Angola.

Local hitmakers Gang of Instrumentals, the Soweto Gospel Choir and The Parlotones will also bring their rousingly catchy melodies to the concert.

"This show promises to deliver an incredible variety of the diverse sounds and rhythms that make up the amazing African continent," said Marang Setshwaelo of Dream Catcher, the festival's publicists.

Starting at 3pm, the Africa Day concert will be broadcast live on SABC from 10pm. Entrance to the concert is free.

Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the establishment of the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On this day, leaders of 30 independent African states signed a founding charter.

They were driven by a common aspiration towards decolonisation, liberation, equality and progress. It is observed as a public holiday in many African countries.

Today, African heritage is celebrated on the day, while the continent's history and culture is exhibited through the arts. Events in Joburg this year are being hosted by the City, Joburg Promusica, SABC2 and the Department of Arts and Culture.

After the Africa Day concert, Mary Fitzgerald Square will be transformed into a public viewing site for the FIFA Confederations Cup, which kicks off in Johannesburg on 14 June. The football Festival of Champions ends - again in Joburg - on 28 June.

For that fortnight, soccer lovers can watch the matches on big screens and enjoy performances by local and international artists, all for free. Mary Fitzgerald Square is the only official Confederations Cup public viewing site.

For more information, telephone Marang Setshwaelo or Matshepo Monyatsi on 011 234 8650 or 082 559 1802, or send an email to Setshwaelo on

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