Steve Kekana, Babsy Mlangeni and Ladysmith Black Mambazo to headline the ArtsAbility Festival

2018-08-30 12:40
 
Steve Kekana

Legendary acts Steve Kekana, Babsy Mlangeni and Ladysmith Black Mambazo will headline The ArtsAbility Festival happening at Ekurhuleni’s Germiston Theatre on 31 August 2018. The ArtsAbility Festival is aimed at giving recognition and honour to disabled people and celebrating their extraordinary talent in the field of arts whilst embracing the values of The Freedom Charter. The festival will feature well-known favourites from all three as well Steve debuting tracks off his upcoming September release Ubuntu

“The difficulties of disabled people in general are what inspired the ArtsAbility Festival,” says event organiser Xolani Majozi of Tell a Vision Productions. He hopes it will become an annual event and that it will highlight the need for society to do better when it comes to the needs of disabled people. “Disabled people must not be isolated in any way,” he adds. “They must be accommodated within available infrastructure such as community halls, libraries, public schools, public transport and other amenities. While it is not our mandate to ensure all these, it is our responsibility within the arts sector to accommodate them as best as possible. Hence this venture.”

Xolani continues, “Icons of our music industry have proved beyond reasonable doubt that if given a platform irrespective of your background or disability, one can reach leaps and bounds in any field.” He cites Lazarus Kgagudi (1980s disco music star), Babsy Mlangeni (70s and 80s mbaqanga star), the late Stompie Mavi (afro-jazz icon), Skhulu Miya (top gospel music producer), the late Mgqashiyo Ndlovu (maskandi artist), Lucas Sithole (wheelchair Paralympian and maskandi music star) and Sgwili Zuma (multi-award-winning gospel music artist with albinism). “These are just some of the many untold stories of people perceived as disabled,” says Majozi.  “Steve Kekana has indeed become a beacon of hope not only to those who have disabilities but also an inspiration to many.  This is a blind man from a very poor background, excelling in the music industry, becoming a revered radio personality and going on to become a top lawyer.

“The programme will provide a platform for disabled youth and women with disabilities to share ideas with non-disabled people and eradicate stigma associated with them. We want to stimulate sustainable job creation for disabled youth and women in the arts and we will involve artists with disabilities in the event, working together with non-disabled people and taking the art forward,” Xolani concludes.

NEXT ON CHANNELX
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.