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Turquoise Harmony Institute to put spotlight on refugee cause

Performing artist Msaki.Image:file

Performing artist Msaki.Image:file

Published Aug 4, 2022

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SIYABONGA SITHOLE

In a show of solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees from across the globe, stars Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, PJ Powers, Neill Solomon, Thandi Ntuli, Msaki, Pops Mohamed and many others will take to the stage at the Linder Auditorium for another instalment of the award-winning musical showcase, the Turquoise Harmony Institute (THI).

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The event is set to bring hope to the lives of refugees while creating awareness and advocacy of the human suffering of refugees across the world and on the continent with a concert on Friday, August 12 at 9pm.

The concert will encompass live performances and live-streamed performances as talented Neill Solomon launches his new single, “Homeland”, which was produced by JB Arthur at the Flame Studios in Constitution Hill.

Over the years the concert has been endorsed by leaders of society, including award-winning First Lady of Song Sibongile Khumalo, judges Jody Kollapen and Siraj Desai, who all have recently voiced their solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees.

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“For me participating in this programme in assisting with raising money for THI was really important to me. To make those people who are in the trenches dealing with refugee issues, dealing with displacement issues. To know that we as citizens are here to support, are here to show love and are here to show what in South Africa we call ubuntu. Even though that word has been mutilated as not many people understand its value. But for me when I talk about ubuntu, I talk about that essence of humanness that recognises a human in another,” the legendary singer Sibongile Khumalo once said following her performance as part of this concert.

For Judge Desai this concert means lending a helping hand in the humanitarian crisis that is ravaging the world.

“The refugee situation is a crisis of enormous proportions. It is a crisis that we should be focusing upon, not only as South Africans but as people of the world,” Judge Desai recently said.

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For Judge Kollapen, the THI concert is about showing how vulnerable mankind is to devastation caused by wars across the globe and how differences in skin colour mean nothing, as well as enjoying beautiful music in solidarity with those among us who find themselves having to flee their homes.

“The rights of refugees are important, and so unless we stand together as humanity and unless we say that my brother and my sister’s pain is my pain, then we will never find the solutions to our problems,” Judge Kollapen said after the recent performance, which coincided with the 50th celebration of the OAU Convention for the rights of refugees.

For this year’s performance, concert organiser Ayhan Cetin said the purpose of the concert is to move away from quoting statistics to revealing the real face of refugees.

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“We want people to think, ‘What if I was in their shoes? What would life feel like? Could I face the sometimes insurmountable challenges and daily struggles they face?’ With this concert our aim is to re-frame the refugee experience, shifting the debate away from statistics and refocusing on the attitudes of those who may not be sure who refugees even are, creating connections through common experiences and increased understanding,” Cetin said.

“The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has given the world a glimpse of devastation that can be brought to families and their homes by powers beyond their control.”

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