Annual Cultural Calabash Extravaganza at UKZN
This year’s African Music Outreach: Community Development class within the Music Discipline at UKZN’s School of Arts, recently presented their 9th Annual African Cultural Calabash at the Howard College Theatre.
The Cultural Calabash opened to an excited capacity audience, eager to share in the preservation and celebration of African culture and its cuisine.
The event also celebrates the country’s diversity and unity by presenting a spectrum of traditional African music and dance. The event showcased performing artists from both the University as well as the broader community.
African Music and Dance (AMD) students featured one of their colleagues, Ms Nozuko Nguqu, as part of the concert. Nguqu (BA Music), a performing artist before she enrolled at UKZN, was excited to be involved in the Calabash as this is her last year at UKZN.
Said Nguqu: ‘Organising the Calabash was a challenge as I was doing most of the things for the first time but it turned out to be a huge success. We had a full house which proves good marketing goes a long way. The audience reception towards my performance was quite amazing and I really felt good after the show. Feedback from different people makes me love my choice of career more than I ever did before.’
The concert also featured Ikusasa Lethu, a professional touring ensemble under the Directorship of UKZN’s Dr Patricia Opondo; and the Umsindo Theatrical dance group from Umlazi which showcased their vibrant repertoire of traditional dances.
To align the concert with the event’s theme of Rebirth of Arts, the concert featured YDS Pansula dancers from Lamontville.
As the Calabash is the Community development Programme to prepare third year students for the outside world after graduation, the event gave them the opportunity to perform with rural groups.