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SA acts for Obama's bash - Lira, MiCasa and Masekela

By Zoë Mahopo | 2013-01-17 08:06:46.0

"Go out there and make us proud," Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile told three local music acts who are joining a host of international artists who will perform at US President Barrack Obama's inauguration in Washington on Monday.

Speaking in Johannesburg yesterday, Mashatile told soul singer Lira, jazz legend Hugh Masekela and dance music outfit MiCasa that they should be proud of their African heritage because the whole of South Africa would be behind them.

Award-winning songbird Lira said she was proud to represent her country.

She said this was an opportunity for her and the other artists to show the world what Africa is made of.

"When you are out there, you must celebrate being African," she said.

Lira said Obama was a symbol of success for African people all over the world.

She also dropped a hint about what she would wear during her performance.

"It will be a huge African statement," she said, and added that it was designed by David Tlale who is coincidentally set to showcase his designs at the forthcoming New York Fashion Week.

Masekela, whose album Jabulani has just received a Grammy Award nomination, assured Mashatile that the Grammy would be "coming home".

Masekela said he had been asked to perform a tribute to former president Nelson Mandela by the African American Church Commission.

He told MiCasa not to be surprised by their sudden success. "Things that come from heritage will always stand forever."

- mahopoz@sowetan.co.za