Africa united in song and dance
Lebogang Tsele and Louise McAuliffe
Fostering tolerance following the xenophobic attacks earlier this year, young foreign nationals will be strutting their stuff in the New Year's Eve Joburg Carnival.
The theme of the fifth annual Joburg Carnival is "Unity in our diversity" - a fitting and symbolic gesture of reconciliation given the scars that residents still bear months after the brutal attacks on foreigners in May.
In this spirit, the City of Joburg has incorporated 50 young foreigners aged between 10 and 16 into a group that will be parading from 2pm on December 31 with various carnival troupes, choirs and musicians.
The blend of youngsters - from Zimbabwe, Angola, Burundi, Kenya and the DRC have been expertly choreographed by local dancer Vukani Khoza.
Zanele Nkosi, representing Region F, said: "The youngsters have been training since December 8 for up to four hours a day."
The enthusiasm, energy and commitment to the carnival was clearly apparent during the mini-parade at the Yeoville Community Centre yesterday morning.
The exciting dance spectacle features a mixture of modern, hip-hop and township dance, with a touch of Congolese dance thrown in.
The carnival will set off from Kotze Street in Hillbrow, proceed through the inner city, over the Nelson Mandela Bridge and into Newtown.
Residents are invited to come out and witness this cheerful riot of colour, music and activity, which will culminate in a free concert at Mary Fitzgerald Square from 6pm. It features top acts Freshlyground, MXO, Gang of Instrumentals, Bleksem, Howza, KB and Wonderboom.
Security will be tight along the route and in Newtown. The police and emergency services will ensure that proceedings run like clockwork.
The carnival is hosted by the City of Joburg and the SAPS.
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