On the back of three consecutive sold-out performances in January 2019, the Joburg Theatre is excited to announce the return of Mbuso Khoza and the Afrikan Heritage Ensemble, this time to celebrate Africa Day.
Award winning vocalist, composer, cultural & heritage proponent as well as writer and radio presenter; Khoza is the headline act on the Mandela stage in a performance commemorating the 56th anniversary of Africa Freedom Day, now called Africa Day.
Khoza’s January presentation was a homily on the Battle of Isandlwana delivered in song and narration. “Booked for only a single performance, the theatre had to frantically add two more dates, all also sold-out due to unparalleled audience demand”, said Makhaola Ndebele, Artistic Director at Joburg City Theatres.
This time around, the programme is split into two parts featuring Khoza firstly in his role as band leader as well as him heading the acapella ensemble whose specialty is the interpretation of amahubo, the music from 17th century southern Africa region.
“With the four-piece band, we shall present a selection of Africa-centric music consisting of both original compositions as well as other seminal works by other African giants including Salif Keita and Richard Bona,” said Khoza who is also a master’s student in heritage studies at Wits University’s School of Arts.
The Afrikan Heritage Ensemble, a 16-voice strong acapella outfit will be returning to the Mandela Stage fresh from a confidence boosting reception to their January act, which also featured a few yet-to-be celebrated soloists. Foremost among these is the gifted Zawadi ya Mungu whose Nduduzo Makhathini-produced debut album of jazz adaptation of amahubo is soon to be released.
The Ensemble was formed by Khoza in 2016 following two years of research into the origins of amahubo, its significance and an analysis of its linguistic content as well as other traditional musical genres directly linked with amahubo.
The Afrikan Heritage Ensemble has recorded two full albums of amahubo with the latter featuring a decorated jazz pianist from Amsterdam, Netherlands Mike del Ferro.
“We continue to draw inspiration from our roots as we redefine our identity using the body of work bequeathed to us by our forebears in the arts, culture and intellectual disciplines, said Khoza.
Those lucky enough to secure the tickets for the Joburg Theatre shows will be mesmerized by the vitality, originality and the stimulating qualities of this long-abandoned art-form whose relevance remains uncontested centuries later.