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MMC Sifumba launches Heritage Month programme


City of Johannesburg programmes aimed at promoting social cohesion and positive growth for budding artists and musicians, such as the Arts Alive International Arts Festival, will be enhanced to achieve a broader reach.
This was said by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba at the launch of the City’s Heritage Month programme at the Joburg Theatre on Thursday September 1.  “As the new administration of the City of Johannesburg, we will continue with the various programmes that have already been put in place. But we will be enhancing them so that these initiatives are more efficient and effective in reaching a broader audience to promote both Joburg and budding artists,” she said.
“Programmes like Arts Alive not only create employment but they are also valuable for the development of local arts and culture. More needs to be done to ensure that these artists are promoted,” said MMC Sifumba.  This year marks the 24th edition of Arts Alive International and MMC Sifumba said considering the exciting lineup of acclaimed international and local artists, it is going to be “the best one yet”.
“Our heritage is our pride. Let’s celebrate our heritage and enjoy the lineup on offer. Let’s be safe and secure while doing so,” said MMC Sifumba.   The festival kicks off with the Jazz on the Lake show at Zoo Lake on Sunday September 4.
The event returns with a packed programme of homegrown and international performers, including local act Lesedi Ntsane and the Azanian peoples Movement, Paco Séry and friends from the Ivory Coast and Paris; SAMA award-winner Nathi, Nigeria’s Seun Kuti and popular local act Mafikizolo.
Other Arts Alive events include Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition at the Joburg Theatre on Thursday September 8, as well as the Beat Festival on Friday September 9 at Zone 6, Diepkloof, Soweto, and Street Festival on Saturday September 10 in Melville.  Said Moshito Deputy Chairperson Mandla Maseko: “We’re very excited that this year we have diversified and added to our offerings by introducing two festivals – the Beat Festival and the Street Festival.  These two festivals will bring musicians together and add to the Arts Alive colour.”
Other highlights include the performance of Grammy Award-winning choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo on Saturday September 10 and Sunday September 11 at the Joburg Theatre and the Eldo’s Jazz Festival on Sunday September 19 at the Extension 6 Soccer Grounds.
Eldo’s Jazz Festival organiser Tess van der Wal said this year’s show would feature performers such as Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Deborah J Carter from the United States, Ntjam Rosie of Dutch-Cameroonian descent, Paul van Kessel from Holland, local act Graz Roots Projects and much more.  “The Eldo’s Jazz Festival is a symbol of community development in progress. Last year we attracted more than 15 000 people and we see the festival growing even further this year,” she said.
This year's Arts Alive music programme also includes Reggae Jazz Night with Hugh Masekela and Queen Ifrica from Jamaica on Friday September 23 at the Joburg Theatre. This evening of fusion will include a once-off performance by Masekela of his greatest hits.  A new addition to the Arts Alive lineup is the Rock Blues and Folk Night on Saturday September 24. This inaugural evening will feature legendary singer and storyteller Dan Patlansky, blues harmonica player Dave Ferguson as well as Nakhane Touré, Josie Field, Laurie Levin and acclaimed guitarist Mauritz Lotz.
The Urban Clash at the Soweto Theatre will see music genres go head to head in a battle to win audience approval. Big names in the hip-hop, kwaito, dance, house, Afro pop and reggae music fields include Queen Ifrica from Jamaica, Busiswa, Zano, Babes Wodumo, Ben Sharpa, Tumi Tladi and many more.
A tribute concert honouring the late kwaito icon Brown Dash will be held at Orlando Stadium on Saturday September 24. This specially curated concert will feature performances by Mandoza, Pro, Gigi Lamayne, Zola 7, Zakwe and others.
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