WITH August being Women’s Month, the BAT Centre is hosting the annual Women of Power Concert to honour and appreciate South African women. The gig, on Saturday features Simphiwe Dana and Durban jazz ladies, Nonhlanhla Wanda (pictured), Xolisa Dlamini, Angel Zondo, Thuli Mbili, Nozuko Nguqu, Sheila Khumalo, Khombi Ziqubu and will be backed by an all-woman band.
In an interview with Tonight, performer and one of the organisers, Wanda explained the significance behind the event.
She is passionate as she speaks about the role of women in society and how the concept aims to empower them. “We always try to involve and develop women to be a part of the music and to play instruments. We feel there is underdevelopment for women to play instruments. So through this event, we say women must stand on their own.
“Also, some women are not recognised for the talent they have but you find when they sing, they are the best. So as artists, we want to stand together and create a positive message for all women out there and lift each other up when we’re feeling down.
“Through the event, we want to show people that as women we have the power in music and we have a vision. We want to give back to the community and train people and develop their skills. Through the concert, we also want to give up-and-coming artists an opportunity in this industry so we will share our experiences and see how we can assist each other.
“We want women from different races to understand each other, understand our cultures and backgrounds and to communicate with each other,” she says.
The Women of Power Concert is making its fourth appearance in Durban. According to Wanda, it has been well received in the past. “It doesn’t happen in consecutive years. I think it’s been running since 1998. And the response has been great. Back then, people – especially men – used to say women can’t do this and so on. But as time goes on, they’ve realised we have that power in music to do things.
The line-up is made up of all-woman jazz singers and a live band. Mbili was one of the backing vocal- ists in the 2010 concert. Dlamini is also one of the organisers. She has been instrumental in making sure that the concept stays alive, as an educator and arts practitioner.
Sharing her views on these women, Wanda says: “Xolisa Dlamini is a very good singer and teacher/facilitator. She’s a professional and we want to encourage self-taught musicians to learn a few things from her. So if you’re a musician and want guidance, come and learn from her – she will share her knowledge and skills with up-and-coming women.”
In terms of the Women of Power Concert, what’s in store for audiences?
“We expect to have an audience of all ages. The music is made up of different genres. “We want concert- goers to enjoy all kinds of music so we are going to play and will share our knowledge with them and help them to develop and grow,” says Wanda.
• The concert takes place on Saturday at the BAT Centre in the Sipho Gumede Hall from 11am to 3pm. Tickets are R150.