Wits Arts Festival to captivate students and culture lovers

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

The annual Wits Arts and Literature Experience Festival place at Wits University in Johannesburg is back to entertain people.

Activities started yesterday and will run until Saturday. Known as Wale by many, this year's programme is a celebration of the creative energy that makes Wits unique.

The programme offers a stimulating and entertaining range of events from music concerts to art exhibitions, film shows, poetry presentations and theatre productions to book readings.

Wale's founder Tawana Kupe says he has always believed in Wale's potential to count itself among South Africa's premier cultural events.

"A key part of Wale is its accessibility to Gauteng's culture lovers as well and those on campus - and many presentations are free.

"The event is open to anyone who wants to immerse himself in the creative and intellectual endeavours of students, both past and present," he says.

This year the event features a performance by legendary jazz performer and songwriter Abdullah Ibrahim and his band Ekaya. Ibrahim's performance takes place at the Wits Great Hall on Friday night and features Belden Bullock, George Gray, Cleave Guyton, Keith Loftis, Andrea Murchison and Jason Marshal.

The globally recognised musician will also be awarded an honorary doctorate that will see him joining the Wits family.

This will follow Ibrahim's win on Saturday at the South African Music Awards, where he walked away with the Male Artist of the Year award.

Another highlight of the festival will be Kevin Volans 60th birthday concert, which honours the international Wits alumnus.