Arts groups set for SA cultural event
TWO local arts groups, Back to the Woods (BTTW) and Ragga Vybz are set to take part in in the inaugural Africa Unite Camp at Mothong Heritage Site in Pretoria, South Africa from today till Sunday.
The camp is the brainchild of South African arts activist, Sechaba Sa Rantsho, aimed at uniting Africans through various activities such as cultural exchanges, theatre, music, poetry, environmental exploration, yoga and mind relaxation.
The event will be held under the theme ‘Beyond the mind of the oppressed’.
“The camp seeks to promote relations among the African Diaspora as well as create an African agenda to help improve the African narrative,” Sechaba Sa Rantsho’s Makgotso Nkosi said in an interview with the Weekender this week.
“We aim to create a space where issues concerning Africans can be discussed and solutions derived.
“We will undertake a tour to learn about African medicinal plants from an expert as we believe this is important in taking us back to our origins and the lifestyle of healing apart from pharmaceutical products. The knowledge and preservation of African plants is gradually being lost.
“The dialogue is also essential and it will feature individuals who delve into Africanism, its meaning and what a decolonised Africa should look like. The speakers will include Lefifi Tladi, Matshelo Motsei and Thau Thau from the Rastafarian movement.”
She said they would also climb the Thaba ya Mogale Mountain which is a sacred heritage site that hosts most of the spiritual activities in Mamelodi in Pretoria including the sacred initiation school of the Pedi people and a Rasta village.
She said in addition to returning a favour, they had invited BTTW because they had a lot in common.
“BTTW hosted one of our own (Azah) as a guest performer during their camp in August and our relationship was established as we realised we had a common interest in shaping the African story and nurturing art,” she said.
For his part, BTTW’s Lekhema Malakia said they were looking forward to getting international exposure from the event.
“We will learn a lot about Africa as there will be a lecture by a historian about Africanism and will also mingle with other ethnic groups,” Malakia said, adding they hosted Sechaba Sa Rantsho in August and realised they shared a common passion for arts.