Theatrical healing

THE Ingxubevange Annual Arts Festival (IAAF) will be staged again this year with the aim of reigniting creativity in music and dance in the townships.

Introduced in 2004 as a dance festival, Ingxubevange takes place from June 17 to 21 at various venues in Thokoza, including the famous Khumalo Street.

The street became notorious in the 80s as a place where many people were killed during riots. It is the street where ANC leader Sam Ntuli was ambushed and killed.

In 1999 a monument was erected as a sign of reconciliation, and opened by then president Thabo Mbeki and Mangosuthu Buthelezi of the IFP.

Mike Manana, who started the IAAF, says: "The fest is aimed at achieving three things: empowerment, excellence and sustainability. It creates athe platform for an exciting journey to empowerment.

"All stakeholders will benefit from this event, especially the youth, since we will be celebrating youth month. Ten percent of the profit will go to youth development programmes such as art education, job creation and developing young entrepreneurs."

Two events will start off the festival: a musical competition by schools for the disabled and a battle of dance. They will take place at the Auditorium Hall from 9am until the afternoon.

Later a gala event to honour liberation stalwarts will be staged from 6pm.

"We will honour people such as Susan Mabaso, Esseu Sehloho, Mike Ngobese and Sam Ntuli," Manana says.

Maskandi fans will not be left out since a maskandi concert will take place at the Auditorium Hall on June 20 from 10am.

Musicians such as Ihashe Elimhlophe and Shwi Nomtekhala , pictured left, will entertain. Tickets cost R50 at the door.

Manana says since it started in 2004 the IAAF has been supported by the National Lottery, provincial, national arts council and the Ekurhuleni municipality.

The IAAF wraps up in style on June 21 with a free choir competition at Boksburg Correctional Services at 9am.

Khumalo Street will stage street theatre with tickets costing R50 at the office or package ticket for R120 for three events.