Basha Uhuru: 25 Years of Creative Freedom

Now in its eight year, the 2019 edition of one of the foremost urban, creative youth festivals in South Africa is brought to you by Constitution Hill in partnership with Nando’s, the Department of Arts and Culture, Gauteng Department of Economic Development, Gauteng Tourism, Gauteng Film Commission, BET, Metro FM, Brand SA and the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller. The Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival not only showcases art, design, film, poetry and music, but it also provides inspirational workshops and entrepreneurial support programmes for young creatives. The exciting programme kicks off with art and talks on Thursday and carries on with a film and poetry programme till Saturdays music finale.

TALKS

The Basha Bacha Creative Summit on the 27 & 28 June at The Women's Jail from 09:00 - 16:00, is two days of design thinking and activism, inspirational workshops, enterprise support, networking, talks, pitching and other opportunities with creative innovators, business leaders, technologists and entrepreneurs. Basha Bacha Creative Uprisings aims to strengthen the creative economies greatest assets - people - to encourage collaboration, critical thinking and the ability to take a risk.

This year at Basha Uhuru, Nando’s, led by their Creative Director, Tracy Lee-Lynch will host design talks, workshops and an industry pitch session at Basha Bacha. Also taking part are: Malibongwe Tyilo Associate Editor for Maverick Life, the Daily Maverick's online Lifestyle Magazine; Thabisa Mjo of Mash.T Design studio who won the Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search in 2015 for her Tutu 2.0 light, which went on to win the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa Award at the 2018 Design Indaba; Nkuli Mlangeni,who is a creative entrepreneur, dreamer, traveller and maker of things. She is the founder of The Ninevites; Mpho Vackier the creative talent behind TheUrbanative, a contemporary African furniture and product design company in South Africa; Thokoza Mjo, an investment analyst who founded Beyond the Lemonade Stand with the mission to partner with families in developing a generation that believes they are capable of achieving their dreams. Thabisa, Nkuli, Mpho and Thokoza will be presenting a workshop on “Having a positive mindset”. T Amaya Delmas is a French screen printer and graphic designer based in Victoria Yards, Lorrentzville. After completing her Masters at Central St Martins, London, she worked in several advertising agencies in Paris. Amaya will be running the stencil- and print-making workshop at Basha Bacha Creative Uprising creative conference.

On the 27th and 28th at Basha Bacha, Nando’s in partnership with Spier Arts Trust, is hosting a series of art workshops; a panel discussion with the Nando’s 2019 Creative Exchange artists, Sepideh Mehraban, and the Spier Arts Trust curator, Tamlin Blake; as well as featuring a showcase of Creative Block artworks from the 2019 Creative Exchange artists. Creative Exchange was first established in 2011 to recognise emerging, South African fine artists who demonstrate exceptional ability. Artists work in a group to get ready for a public exhibition of their work, providing access to market and exposure to gallerists, buyers and the art industry. This year, the Creative Exchange artists who will be showcased at Basha Uhuru are Adolf Tega, Thembalethu Manqunyay, Wonder Marthinus and Robyn Pretorius.

Tickets are R50 on Basha Uhuru

In the evening on the 27th and 28th of June at The Idea Bank at The Women’s Jail, Meet The Speakers will feature talks from major industry luminaries from 17:00 to 18:30. On Thursday 27th: Artist Thenjiwe Nkosi, creative business finance strategist Bradley Williams, photographers Andile Buka and Kgomotso Neto, designer Papama Mtwisha and Luze Kloppers. On Friday the 28th speakers include artists Nelson Makamo and Lady Skollie, film makers Tebogo Malope, Zandi Tisani and Mmabatho Montsho as well as Nandi Dlepuwho created the Feel Good and Women In Bloom events.

The Creative Pitching Booster and boot camp introduced at Basha Uhuru for the first time this year will be fuelled by the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) The programme is designed to support young creatives and enterprises that are at the ideation and growth stages who have relatively little industry exposure. The event is on Friday June 28th. Creative entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to learn from experts. Creative entrepreneurs will then have three minutes to present their products or services to the jury panels, followed by Q&A sessions. The five top enterprises who meet the criteria will be provided with unique, tailored financial or non-financial services, and mentorship opportunities help start, spark and scale up their business to enable them to become active participants in Gauteng’s mainstream economy.

ART

The fine art programme, Expressions of Freedom, opens to the public on the 27th of June with two exhibitions that will close on the 31st of July. The Spier Arts Trust in Partnership with Constitution Hill will showcase an exhibition titled I See U, Imagining a Space for Freedom. This exhibition brings together a selection of artworks from the Spier Arts Trust collection, which spans over 35 years and provides an insight both into our country’s past and our present - artists on show at The Women’s Jail include Athi Patra Ruga, David Koloane and Gerard Sekoto amongst others.

Twenty-five years after the official ushering in of freedom, the Art Bank of South Africa marks Youth Month by curating the Homing in on Freedom exhibition at Number 4, an exhibition of artworks by youth (18-35yrs), artists selected from the Art Bank of South Africa’s Contemporary Visual Art Collection. The works were chosen to highlight multi-layered themes of home, identity and expression that concern today’s young people. Artists showing include Lungisa Matubatuba; Qhama Maswana; Lebo Thoka; Hannah Cornelius; Zwelinjani Radebe; Thalente Khomo; Sifiso Samuel Gumede; Banele Khoza; Manyatsa Monyamane and Sthembiso Zwane.

POETRY

The best rhymes will be on show when talented poets gather at Words of Freedom at The Women’s Jail on the 28th of May at 18:00. South African poetry witnessed a shift over the past two decades and a half, from only occupying journals into existing within the live entertainment realm. The line-up will show this growth by showcasing a diverse array of talent in the poetry world today: Makhafula Vilakazi; Dr Sarah Godsell; Mutle Mothibe; Nomashenge Dlamini; Xabiso Vili; Busisiwe Mahlangu; Sibulelo Manamatela; Belita Andre; Masai Sepuru; Dillan Park; Prince Shapiro and Vus’umuzi Phakathi will perform.

FILM

The Visions of Freedom at Constitution Hill’s Women’s Jail on the 27th and 28th of June when five new South African films, from romcoms to period dramas and everything in between, will be shown. Screenings at 18:00 will be followed by discussions with actors and directors. Films include Norman Maake’s Love Lives Here which stars Thando Thabethe and Lungile Radu. Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s apartheid era Western starring Ezra Mabengeza, Sew the Winter to my Skin and An Act of Defiance about anti-apartheid lawyer Bram Fischer will be watched too. The Khanyi Mbau and Aubrey Pooe vehicle Red Room will screen, as will Into Infinity that stars Thishiwe Ziqubu, Nandi Nyembe and Treasure Tshabalala.

MUSIC

The festival ends on Saturday, 29th June with a concert starting at 13:00 that will feature Ricky Rick, Msaki, Langa Mavuso, Khuli Chana, Brother Moves On, Urban Village, African Rhythm Productions, Thebe, Ikati Esangweni, Mthuda & Njelik, Dj Kent, DJ Dimples, Coppashot & Bobotical, DJ Zero, Rosie Parade, Deniece Mars, Sistamatic, P Kuttah, Scott The Girl, Tha Muzik, Ace of Spades and DBN Gogo. Constitution Square will be filled with eclectic sounds and smash hits and the bustle of the Makers Market which opens at 10am - The Makers’ Market will bring together the finest local food, drink, art and craft producers in the area, ensuring goods that are unique, original and designed to inspire. Tickets are R75 at the gate and R50 on www.bashauhuru.co.za

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