JHB EVENTS: Lira returns to the stage for Bassline Fest’s Africa Day celebrations

Lira will perform in Johannesburg this weekend as part of Africa Day celebrations. Picture: Instagram.

Lira will perform in Johannesburg this weekend as part of Africa Day celebrations. Picture: Instagram.

Published May 23, 2024


SOUTH Africa’s queen of Afrosoul, Lira, will return to the stage this weekend for the first time since suffering a stroke two years ago.

The “Feel Good” hitmaker, whose real name is Lerato Molapo, went through a harrowing medical ordeal which left her unable to read, write or even speak.

She since made significant strides in her recovery and is now set to headline the Bassline Fest’s Africa Day celebrations in Johannesburg.

Fans are in for a treat as the award-winning singer will be performing with a live band at Constitutional Hill.

As Africa Day is commemorated on Saturday, Lira will be joined on the stage by the likes of Maleh from Lesotho, Tanzania’s Kadilida, her producer Jay Mitta and Moroccan Rita Kamale.

On her return to the stage, Lira recently explained that she was in good spirits after suffering an ischemic stroke, which affected her brain’s functioning.

“I have been practising to perform as part of my recovery and have come to accept that the old Lira is gone.

“I wondered who the new Lira would be and have been getting to know her and feel ready to share her with the public,” she said in a statement.

The songbird added that she was “excited and looking forward to being on stage again to perform”.

“What makes this performance extra special is that not only are we, in South Africa, celebrating 30 years of democracy, but we are also celebrating the new Lira...I have so much to be grateful for.”

Lira admitted that the recovery since her stroke in 2022 had been challenging, as she was hospitalised for two weeks, including five days in ICU.

She also had to learn to read, write and speak from scratch and recently explained to “Kaya 959” author and presenter, Thabo T-Bose Mokwele, that while the overall experience was frustrating, learning how to communicate again fascinated her.

“Who gets to go be grown up and experience themselves as a child again? That doesn’t happen. I felt lucky. I lived in gratitude. Seeing the things that I get to do, I’m excited about life, and the kind of life I get to live now,” she said in the radio interview.

Apart from Lira’s sensational return to the stage at The Bassline Fest, the event will also feature a Dance Africa Stage, which will see a host of African DJs rocking the decks.

There will also be delicious African cuisines to savour as well as the opportunity to purchase unique products.

“Bassline Fest welcomes everyone in the city to come celebrate with song, dance, food and fun,” the event organisers said.

“There will be an African artisanal market selling all manner of exquisitely created African food, arts and crafts as well as bars and other food and drink stalls to choose from,” they added.

Where: Constitution Hill in Braamfontein.

When: Saturday, May 25, from 2pm.

Cost: Tickets are R320 for adults and R100 for children under the age of 12. They are available from Ticketmaster.

Goth Day at the Ultimate Geek Gathering Market

This month’s Geek Gathering market will pay tribute to World Goth Day, celebrated on Wednesday.

The Official World Goth Day website defines the occasion as "a day where the goth scene gets to celebrate its own beings and it is an opportunity to make its presence known to the rest of the world."

With this in mind, Gotcha’s Pizzeria, Ke Ai and Yes Sir! Events will be hosting a convergence of dark elegance and nerdy delights at this fun-filled and family-friendly market.

The gathering will also boast an array of vendors selling a curated selection of merchandise. These include vintage items, pop culture collectables, comics, artwork, hand-crafted jewellery, fashion and much more.

There will also be food trucks catering to diverse tastes as it offers tantalising treats to fuel the day’s adventures.

There will also be the monthly Geek Quiz which starts at 2.30pm as well as local artists and DJs to entertain attendees.

“Whether you're a seasoned goth, a die-hard geek, or simply curious to explore a new subculture, Goth Day at the Geek Gathering Market promises an unforgettable experience filled with camaraderie, entertainment and endless opportunities to celebrate what makes us unique," event organiser Franco Ferrarese said.

Where: Gotcha Pizzeria in Linden.

When: Saturday, May 25, from 11am.

Cost: Entry is free but pet donations of any kind are welcomed.

A fitness bootcamp will be held at The Glen Shopping Centre this weekend. Picture: Instagram.

Fitness Bootcamp

Summer bodies are made in winter and, with this in mind, The Glen Shopping Centre in the south of Joburg, will be hosting a heart-pumping workout class that suits all fitness levels.

Attendees are required to bring a bottle of drinking water, a sweat towel and a yoga mat.

This bootcamp, which will be overseen by fitness instructors, is open to people of all ages.

Where: The Glen Shopping Centre’s rooftop level, entrance 4 (near Capello).

When: Saturday, May 25, at 8am.

Cost: Tickets cost R40 per person but the class is free for children under the age of 12. Tickets are available from Webtickets.