This year, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the African National Congress, the leading democratic anti-apartheid party in South Africa, SummerStage and ImageNation celebrates South African culture with a performance by South African soul singers and activists, Goapele and Yolanda Zuma followed by a screening of the film, Come Back Africa a groundbreaking drama that explores the ravages of life under apartheid.
Goapele possesses one of the most alluring and powerful voices within the soul genre, injecting poignant words with both passion and substance. The Oakland, California based songstress of South African parentage, broke onto the music scene in 2001 with the ethereal release, Even Closer, a success based on the smash hit single, “Closer.” The album’s mix of soulful grooves and thought-provoking lyrics introduced the world to a multi-faceted artist, known as much for her social and political activism as for her lush romantic ballads. Through a brilliant mix of skillful compositions and heart wrenching harmonies that showcase her ability to mix classic soul, R&B and new-age funk, her signature throaty moans and lyrical poetry evoke all things old yet somehow manages to be refreshingly new.
Yolanda Zama is a South-African born singer/songwriter. A young political exile during apartheid, she honed her voice amid the urban sounds of Harlem in the 80’s. Weaving her native Xhosa with English, Zama fuses the lush and organic textures of Southern African music with the vibrant and dynamic melodies of folk and soul to create a sound that is at once unique and transcendent.
A poignant and insightful drama, Come Back, Africa was secretly filmed in 1959 during apartheid in South Africa. Shot primarily in Sophiatown, and named after the African National Congress moniker “Come Back, Africa” this historical wonder presents an honest glimpse into the reality of life under the now-abolished South African apartheid government. It was through this film, that Harry Belafonte discovered the incomparable Ms. Miriam Makeba aka Mama Africa. This groundbreaking classic is distributed by Milestone Films.
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