Shimza, pictured with SA rugby captain Siya Kolisi, on Robben Island. Picture: Supplied
Shimza, pictured with SA rugby captain Siya Kolisi, on Robben Island. Picture: Supplied

Shimza’s historical move to livestream show from Robben Island on Mandela Day

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Jul 16, 2020

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Artists and celebrities are doing their bit to help alleviate the hardships suffered by many due to Covid-19. 

As the country’s infection rate continues to soar, the hunger and daily struggles mount, especially within impoverished communities. 

This Mandela Day, Shimza (real name Ashley Raphala)  has decided to take his One Man Show to Robben Island, an unprecedented move by an artist. 

He explained: “I was inspired by the story behind Robben Island as well as Nelson Mandela's quest for freedom, him being one of the most respected icons around the world. More so, now with Covid-19, we are in different phases of lockdown in South Africa and around the world. 

"And the only way to be safe is to stay in doors, which takes away your freedom. People are suffering at the moment and can’t achieve what they previously planned, this in turn means that they can’t support their families like before. Shooting at Robben Island, for me, symbolises the freedom that we hope to have in the near future by showcasing our music and our culture to the world.”

There’s another aspect to this, though. His foundation, SHIMUZIK, along with the Siya Kolisi Foundation, will ensure the proceeds earned from the show goes to several charities. 

Shimza, pictured with SA rugby captain Siya Kolisi, ahead of his One Man Show on Robben Island this Mandela Day. Picture: Supplied

“The proceeds for my first show, which was shot at the Union Building in-front of the Nelson Mandela Statue, was for the Nelson Mandela Foundation as well as the Solidarity Fund.  This time around, the proceeds for this One Man Show, a 2-hour special will go to the Siya Kolisi Foundation, who we have partnered up with, to uplift the vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in the Mother City,” Shimza explained.

Recalling his first visit to Robben Island, he shared: “I visited Robben Island early last year and it was an eye opener; it dawned on me that we take things for granted, including the level of freedom that our forefathers fought for. The tour guide took us through what the day to day experiences were and it made me appreciate what we have as South Africans even more.

“I believe part of the reasoning behind this show being recorded on Robben Island is to use this place, which played an integral part in SA's history, to remind people of the strides that have been made.”

He added: “As South Africans we need to make sure people around the world understand where we come from and what has shaped us as a nation. Using my platform, I would like to impact the youth in a positive way by showing them that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. 

"I want to be able to showcase our history in a way that would make it more captivating and educational for the youth of today. Over and above this, I would like to shape the way the rest of the world views our country by showing our rich history and tourist destinations in a positive way.”

On the impact of Covid-19 on his career, Shimza said: “I have managed to see this time as an opportunity more than a hindrance. This time has allowed me to think out the box and find ways to still keep people entertained in the safety and comfort of their own homes. 

"I have also diversified my role in the industry and I am now an executive producer of Lockdown House Party on a TV broadcast platform. I also use my social media platforms to keep engaging with my fans, by giving a live streamed mix or releasing new music every now and then.”

He encouraged: “We should find ways to rise above the pandemic and stay positive, and not let it define our future. During this time, we all need to remember to keep safe and social distance as this is the only way to flatten the curve.  

"During the show you can expect to see me doing what I love, 'entertaining through good music' while showcasing the beautiful landmark that is Robben Island. Also expect a special appearance from Siya Kolisi.”

"One Man Show" airs live on MTV Base (DStv channel 322) on Saturday at 4pm.

* Find more organisations and worthy causes to support on Mandela Day:

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