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DURBAN ENSEMBLES FOR GERMANY (article first published : 2000-05-20)

Amaqhikiza and Ikusasa Lethu are two performing groups under the African Music Project Arts On Tour – 2000 umbrella and comprise University of Natal Durban African Music and Dance students as well as three additional artists from the Umlazi ensemble Family Singers. Under the artistic and musical directorship of Dr Patricia Achieng Opondo, they will present a varied repertoire of music and dance genres of Black South African youth as part of the South African delegation sponsored by the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology to represent South Africa for 10 days at the Hannover Expo 2000 world cultural exhibition in Germany in June.

Amaqhikiza is a six-member female group who perform a variety of women’s songs and dances representative of the Zulu, Tswana, Pondo and Venda communities. Ikusasa Lethu is an a capella male ensemble of nine who perform amahubo, afro-gospel, isicathamiya, mbube, ngoma and isicathulo. Joining the group of students is Zulu maskanda guitarist Shiyani Ngcobo who has performed in a number of national and international festivals and also teaches in the courses mounted by the African Music Project.

Together the two ensembles have a programme of contemporary popular South African artists including Hugh Masekela, Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, Busi Mhlongo, Tu Nokwe, Sibongile Khumalo, Jabu Khanyile, Ringo Madlingozi, Phuz’ Ekhemisi and Mfaz’ Omnyama. The vocalists and dancers are accompanied by five musicians, all UND music students.

There will be a preview concert on May 27 at 19h00 at Howard College Theatre on the UND campus. Tickets cost R20 at the door. More details or bookings on (031) 260-1045 or email opondop@mtb.und.ac.za




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