Siya Kolisi and DJ Shimza make music and history

DJ Shimza and Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi on Robben Island.
DJ Shimza and Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi on Robben Island.
Image: Supplied

DJ Shimza was joined by Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi on Robben Island last night in a Mandela Day online concert. 

The DJ (real name Ashley Raphala) has played at some impressive venues, including the “biggest nightclub in the world”, Privilege in Ibiza, Spain, but says last night’s was a career highlight.

It was the first livestreaming concert held on the island. Raphala was partnered by Kolisi and the Siya Kolisi Foundation to raise funds for the island as well as those affected by Covid-19.

“Its rich history and scenic surroundings drew me to the island as one of the locations I would like to showcase to the world through my music,” Raphala said.

“Even though Robben Island is a prison and came with a lot of struggle, this place symbolises the birthplace of freedom through Nelson Mandela.”

Kolisi said the two men’s similar backgrounds made it easier to join forces.

“We both come from the township and I’m really inspired by him using his music, using his talent, to make a difference in people’s lives. He knows what the struggle feels like, and that’s why he’s doing what he’s doing, and that really inspired me, so that’s why I thought to bring our two worlds together, to make a difference in society.”

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