Fest strikes major chord

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

The day resembled a family affair as mothers and fathers took their children to the best South African musicians can offer.

And when Doctor Malombo came on stage Sowetans erupted in appreciation.

This was the fourth year of the Soweto Arts Festival. Besides music, it also featured theatre and film. It was initiated by promoter Arabi Mocheke.

Since its inception, the festival has attracted hordes of people from around Soweto and beyond.

Malombo performed with a 35-piece orchestra. For the first two minutes Doctor Malombo played solo on his guitar and the crowd applauded him.

Sowetan is the media sponsor of the festival. The other sponsor is the department of arts and culture. The idea behind the arts festival is to hand it over to the Soweto youth to organise and run it for the Soweto community in a few year's time.

The deputy director of arts and culture Themba Wakashe says the Soweto Arts Festival embraces the broad vision of the department, which is to reach and touch every South African culturally wherever they are, including Soweto.

"We are happy to be involved in the Soweto Arts Festival, especially as it helps to unite communities," Wakashe said.

Mocheke said the aim of the Soweto Arts Festival is to "develop a new audience, especially young people".

Pointing at the youth that appreciate the music, he added "This is what we want to see in the future."