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YOUNG BA KUBA (article first published : 2006-06-12)

It has been over five years since Young ba Kuba performed their infectious soukous and kwassa-kwassa groove in KwaZulu-Natal at the Awesome Africa and Splashy Fen festivals.

This high-energy band from the Democratic Republic of Congo are featured artists alongside legendary and much-loved Durban artist Madala Kunene at the African Refugee Cultural Day at the BAT Centre on June 17. The concert starts at 19h30 and tickets are R40.

Free events during the day include exhibitions, art stalls and lunchtime music by Megastar, another DRC band.

Young ba Kuba’s return to Durban for this Refugee Day celebration is highly appropriate because they are themselves refugees (legal) in South Africa. This cultural event puts the spotlight on the plight of refugees, hundreds of whom arrive in South Africa every month, escaping brutality, persecution and political turmoil in their many countries on this continent. In South Africa they face new struggles, battling to get refugee status and other basic human rights, whilst facing hostility from local communities.

These issues are explored in the South African film A Shadow of Hope which screens on the same day (June 17) at 16h30 in BAT Centre’s Mission Control room. Two other short films will be shown, both set around refugee concerns: The Immigrant (about an ex-Iraqi soldier trying to get legal in Iran), and The Real Saharawi (about the 200,000 people from Western Sahara still living in camps in Algeria).

At 18h00 there is a screening of Angola- Saudades from the One who Loves You, with narration by Gcina Mhlophe, about this rich but anguished land still suffering after 27 years of war.

The film screenings are free, as are all screenings taking place at BAT Centre during the Durban International Film Festival which runs from June14 to 25. (See separate story or visit www.cca.ukzn.ac.za)




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