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‘The Voice’ of South Africa Comes to D.C.

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Sunday October 21, 2018

From The Washington Informer

‘The Voice’ of South Africa Comes to D.C.
By: Eve M. Ferguson

There was a time when the protests against apartheid in South Africa were strengthened and inspired by a rich musical legacy in the nation. Now that apartheid has been abolished, much of the music that streamed from the townships is changing. But “The Voice” of South Africa, guitarist and singer Vusi Mahlasela, plans to keep that legacy alive.

“It certainly has changed dramatically,” Mahlasela said. “There’s a lot of pop music now and I often worry that we’re losing sight of much of the great music from our greats such as Miriam Makeba, the Dark City Sisters, Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens. I’ve been really focused on trying to preserve this township music.”

“I just recently recorded a live album at my grandmother’s shebeen in the Mamelodi township. My grandmother raised me and it was in her bar that I first heard all of this great music and got my start and inspiration. Music and culture evolve and that’s great, but I want to make sure to do my part in preserving what once was and what may be again.”

Mahlasela, in his youthful days as a composer and performer, served as a determined and forceful rallying figure in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Today, he continues to be acknowledged as a global messenger of peace and compassion.

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