Voortrekker gig what Dr ordered

Dr Tumi will perform in Pretoria in September.
Dr Tumi will perform in Pretoria in September.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Gospel superstar Dr Tumi has announced that his Gathering of Worshippers concert will this year be held at Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria.

For many decades the monument has been the bastion of Afrikanerdom which celebrated the Great Trek. Blacks were not allowed entry in the past, but with the advent of democracy, the doors were opened to all.

The 40m-tall granite monument located on top of a hill overlooking Pretoria also has a park and an amphitheatre.

Dr Tumi, a medical doctor-turned-musician whose real name is
Tumisang Makweya, said this was a reconciliatory move on his part. The live DVD recording with the theme "Colour" will be streamed live by Vodacom.

It is scheduled to take place on September 1. Last year, Dr Tumi filled the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg at the inaugural Gathering of Worshippers. "There shouldn't be a place where we are not allowed to go.

"We are sending a message that over 20 years into democracy there should be no segregation or places belonging to certain groups. We look forward to having the show at a place where we were previously not welcomed."

The senior marketing manager at the monument, Lizette Jansen, said they were "excited" to host the gospel giant at their amphitheatre.

Jansen said she believed Dr Tumi may be the first black artist to host a solo show on their grounds.

"We are excited to get an artist of such calibre to perform here. We enjoy having a diverse audience. We live in a democratic South Africa and we won't deter anyone coming here," she said.

AfriForum spokesman Kallie Kriel said they welcome Dr Tumi at the monument.

"It is good that the amphitheatre is utilised by the broader community ... the monument portrays a part of Afrikaner history and it's not against anyone. It should be be enjoyed by all."

Tickets for The Gathering of Worshippers are available at Computicket.