One Africa Performance

Right now, I’m tired after a weekend that was lovely and fun – but draining in the best sense. It was a weekend full of singing and dancing, meeting new people and visiting family. I performed in the One Africa concert on Sunday 30th in Hamer Hall.

The Boite - One Africa

(Art taken from here – artist is Michael Adonai)

For the concert, I was part of the ~350+ strong choir. We were a group of women and men, from very young children to the relatively old. We had a wide range of voices, from base to soprano (me!). It was a blast.

We performed alongside artists such as Lamine Sonko (also Artistic Director), Jimmy Mulovhedzi, Bouly and Oumy Sene Sonko, King Bell, Ajak Kwai, Tariro Mavondo and Asanti Dance Theatre, Burundian Drumming Group of Victoria.
Our band/ supporting musicians included Amadou Susso, Julius Sackey, Romy Hernandez Carbo, Kumar Shome, Zvi Belling, Mamizo Sonko, Pape Mbaye, Yacou Mbaye, Olugbade Okunade, Kofi Kunkpe, Mouad Benjoad and Nick Lester.

On Saturday I went down on the train to Melbourne to attend the afternoon rehearsal. It was the second-to-last one. We ran through the songs and even heard a few guest pieces. We also got our t-shirts. I don’t know about the others, but I began to get excited then.

The next day, Sunday, I went into the city early. The final rehearsal was at Hamer Hall, just as the concert was. We practiced and the feelings grew – this was going to be fun!

The concert ran from 14:30 to 17:00, with an interval between two halves. It had eight acts in each half (five of which in each half that I sang in). It was a beautiful celebration of African cultures, their similarities and differences to each other. There were at least five languages in the show (not counting English) and many cultural groups represented.

There were many themes explored in the concert, using traditional songs and songs composed by guest artists. The most important theme was unity and coming together. Though there is cause for sorrow, now and in the past, the celebration of life and culture is important. There is one heart — One Africa.

I have so many songs from the concert running through my head. Thank you to all who performed (whether singing, dancing, or playing instruments) as well as those who worked behind the scenes – seen or unseen. Thank you also to those who came to watch and those who supported us in other ways in the weeks leading up to the concert and on the day.

What a weekend. I had a marvelous time. Now, we just have to wait for the CD and DVD to come out. 😀

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