from IOL by Chulumanco Mahamba
Joburg – On August 12, the Turquoise Harmony Institute (THI) is expected to bring hope, awareness and advocacy to South Africa and the African continent’s refugees in its third award winning concert.
The THI said the concert aimed to raise awareness of the plight of the numerous people on the African continent and around the world who have been chased from their homes, forgotten and misplaced by others. The concert also aims to celebrate those who overcame the challenges of being forced to be a stranger in other countries.
The concert will feature leading artists including Msaki, one of South Africa’s most legendary musical talents Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, PJ Powers, Thandi Ntuli, Pops Mohamed, Neill Solomon, Rocksteady Dub, Bienvenue Nseka and Lebo Mashile.
“Having come from a Struggle past and having been associated with many of my colleagues who were refugees in other countries and understanding the pain of being in exile, I felt that we have to be conscious about how we relate to refugees as the people of South Africa,” Mabuse told The Star on Wednesday.
The legendary musician said it was very important to consider how South Africans view themselves vis-à-vis the refugee status of others.
“I have always believed that we are quite generous people and it’s very important that we take that position of opening ourselves up. If you haven’t had the experience of what a refugee has lived like then you cannot be in the position to make judgement of how we should deal with that,” Mabuse said.
“We cannot turn a blind eye on the status of refugees in this country.”
The executive director of THI, Ayhan Cetin said the institute wanted people to think “what if I was in their shoes, what would life look like? Could I face the sometimes insurmountable challenges and daily struggles they face?”.
“With these concerts our aim is to reframe the refugee experience, shifting the debate away from refugee statistics and refocusing on the attitudes of those who may not be sure who refugees even are, creating connections through common experiences and increased understanding,” said Cetin.
Mabuse said people should not only come to the concert to celebrate with the artists and be entertained.
“People must also come because they will be making a statement about their position vis-à-vis the refugees. While they pay the money for tickets and enjoy the music, their consciousness must be above the money and the music,” the icon said.
The concerts which include South Africa’s top acts both live and live streamed online will take place from 7pm to 9:30pm at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown on Friday, August 12.