Albert Chemane. Picture: Supplied
Albert Chemane. Picture: Supplied

The virtual Poetry Africa Festival to kick off with exciting performances

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Oct 12, 2020

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The University of KwaZulu Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts and Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, in collaboration with iSupport Creative Business and Concerts SA are launching a first of a series of collaborative performances to take place monthly.

Under the theme “Poetry for Social Change,” the 24th annual Poetry Africa Festival, the longest-running and largest poetry festival in Africa is taking place virtually from Monday, October 12 to Saturday, October 17.

The first collaboration, between Albert Trio and poet Thando Fuze, will be streamed on Facebook during the Poetry Africa Festival on Wednesday, October 14, at 3pm.

Albert Chemane, the leader of the Albert Trio, is an ethnomusicologist, drummer, percussionist and educator.

Born and raised in Maputo, Mozambique, Chemane developed a passion for dance-drumming traditions from Mozambique, later becoming an active performer and advocate for the arts.

Chemane has worked with various projects such as the UKZN Big Band, Khulekani band, Beat-Route, Salim Washington band, Tropic-Jazz and The Meditators.

He co-founded “KeOchestra – The Nameless Jazz” that participated at the MTN Jazz Festival, as well as Manteca Salsa and Afro-Caribbean Band, AfroGong, Somazi and MoSAGh. Chemane also founded Maputaland and ‘Albert Chemane and the African Way’ bands.

These projects allowed him to collaborate with a vast array of musicians within a cross-cultural mix of artistic sensibilities to interpret existing and co-create new materials.

Thando Fuze is a Durban-based contemporary spoken word artist, writer, founder of SHEfted Minds, arts events coordinator and director at FuzeArtCo.

Thando Fuze. Picture: Supplied

Groomed under the guidance and mentorship of Dr Gcina Mhlophe, Fuze is one of a few prominent voices in Durban who continually redefines themselves, the state of poetry and the perceptions of others through her creative works.

“The poem I am performing as part of this collaboration speaks about what is happening in SA relating to Gender-Based Violence.

“It speaks to how it makes women feel and the importance of protecting women. I hope this could be an ongoing collaboration” says Fuze.

Fuze has shared the stage with the likes of the Legendary Baba Madala Kunene, her mentor Dr Gcina Mhlophe, Lebo Mashile, Luka Lesson from Australia and other greats such as Kat François from the UK.

Over the years, she has not only built herself as a brand. She has also helped create platforms for other upcoming artists. She has also worked with Burnt Bridges, who also hosted poetry readings and music offerings in 2014.

Currently, Fuze is part of a team of poets working alongside Mxolisi Mtshali in putting together the biggest bi-monthly poetry show in the country, “Poet In A Suit”.

Concerts SA is a joint South African-Norwegian live music development project housed under the auspices of SAMRO and managed by IKS Cultural Consulting.

For more information, visit our Concert SA website.

The 24th annual “Poetry Africa Festival” is taking place virtually and free of charge from Monday, October 12 to Saturday 17 October.

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