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Bringing the WORLD to your doorstep! WOMAD SA expands its offering with multiple genres

WOMAD @ The Market in Joburg hosts a three-day intensive series of performances and workshops (29 September to 1 October 2023) in and around The Market Theatre precinct. This ambitious and eclectic self-contained festival serves as a catalyst for Joburg’s inner city cultural rejuvenation.

The John Kani Theatre hosts a diverse variety of musically themed concerts. “The Night of the Legends” including The Mahotella Queens, African Jazz Pioneers and Vusi Mahlasela together with Guinean kora superstar N’Faly Kouyate and Aboriginal icon Shellie Morris and hosted by WOMAD SA patron Zolani Mkiva. “Bringing the World” features Senegalese mbalax greats Saintrick et Les Tchielly, Atse Tewodros Project from Ethiopia, American all-girl country group The Merlettes featuring our very own AuzTebza and the award-winning Herencios de Los Rios from Colombia. “Rap Nation” presented by The Music Arena showcases the diversity and creative brilliance of the hip-hop genre. The impressive line-up of established hip-hop icons Youngsta CPT, Blaklez, and Majorsteez alongside rising star Nu Edison and includes a Special Guest appearance from world renowned Australian rapper DRMNGNOW.

Kippies is the venue for Fringe Theatre works and will host a blend of fresh performances from young artists. The sets of work delve into questions of identity, hope, wellbeing, and historic awareness. The programmed pieces in the intimate 50-seater space promise an engaging journey for the audience who will be able to encounter inventive storytelling elements.

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The Mannie Manim Theatre hosts Blacksmith, the 2022 Zwakala Festival winners. Thabo Ramaine and Lonwabo Bhele bring their thought-shifting production to WOMAD, in perfect synchrony with the spirit of Heritage Month. This production confronts the pivotal moments that have shaped the African trajectory under the weighty yoke of colonialism.

The Barney Simon Theatre is the venue for Skin We Are In, a play with music for young audiences that offers fresh science-backed perspectives on race and diversity. It is based on the popular book by Sindiwe Magona and Nina Jablonksi. Performed by the Kwasha! Theatre Company – a small ensemble of exciting young talents that takes its name from the isiZulu interjection which, loosely translated, means ‘It’s on fire!’

The iconic Nikki’s Oasis will celebrate its 28-year legacy by hosting a program of international and local jazz which includes Beyond Words: AfroNaarm Showcase ft. Australian DRMNGNOW, legendary multi-instrumentalist Craig Calhoun (Australia/USA) and rising Zimbabwean stars Sylent, NGQ, Ceeko, Niasha and Tamvela.

The JazzLand exhibition and installation is created in dialogue with jazz appreciators from Katlehong. Ngoma kaMphahlele’s work takes us into the sounds and life of what he has termed JazzLand, an intergenerational confluence of music, image and life with an augmented reality element which embeds videos, sound and interactive multimedia content onto the exhibited photographs.

Another exciting offering includes a Visual Arts component curated by Sara Hallatt from OpenStudios. Joburg and the META Foundation. This program connects and extrapolates the music visually and provides festival audiences with a multisensory experience that is both memorable and immersive while introducing local visual artists to new audiences.

Across the square, AMPD Studios will host recording sessions and workshops -and in line with job creation and exposure The Newtown Mall Junction will host a Fashion Showcase in the Glass House featuring emerging young designers and musicians to round off a rich cultural weekend.