Pretoria - This year’s annual Tshwane All White Jazz Benefit Concert will pay tribute to those who have lost their lives due to Covid-19, and to celebrate survivors of the virus.
More than 90 000 people have died from Covid-19, since South Africa declared a lockdown in March last year.
The mother of all “all white festivals”, as it is dubbed, is billed for tomorrow, the Day of Reconciliation, and will be returning to its home, the Mzansi resort formerly known as Morula Sun, where it has been held for years.
Now in its 15th year, the Tshwane All White Jazz Benefit Concert promises revellers the usual market-leading event, a coming together of different people after a stressful year, and top class hospitality.
“With more than 10 000 attendees in previous years, it has become one of the largest music festivals in the country,” said Tiny Baloyi, known as Sister T.
"This year’s theme was inspired by our desire to reconnect again and commemorate the National Day of Reconciliation, while honouring the survivors, those who lost their families, and communities at large," said Baloyi.
It will feature big names like Vusi Mahlasela, Kelly Khumalo, Mlindo The Vocalist, Sishi from Gomora, radio jocks Amon Mokoena and Ismael Ibrahims.
People are encouraged, by the promoters of the event, to also watch the concert for free online, “....but we are accepting donations to contribute to artists' fees on a Pay What You Can principle.”
"Through this form of mutual aid we can support each other through the exchange of culture, knowledge and funding.
"Our festival will be partly online since we are adjusting to the digital world, and of course people can attend it in person,“ Baloyi said.
"Maybe it is safe to assume that this year’s way of doing our festival will be different to the past years, but we are still not back to normal."
The festival would ensure people who entered the venue were screened, to ensure as little transmission as possible, Baloyi said.
"The pandemic has changed us all forever and, after careful consideration alongside our partners, we have decided to proceed with this year’s festival.
"Coping with the disappointment that we may not be able to mark our event in the usual way, particularly as the concert has a special meaning to us, we feel a range of emotions akin to grief and sadness, which is completely understandable, and will, therefore go ahead but comply with the prescripts of the national lockdown.
Previous festivals have seen the likes of Mafikizolo, Lady Zamar, Wilson B Nkosi, and many others, entertain lovers of soul and jazz, dressed in all white at the same venue.