The Basha Uhuru Youth Month festival is back. After it’s inception in 2013, the fest is celebrating five years of artistic expression and excellence by the youth, in one of South Africa’s most vibrant cities, Johannesburg.
Bigger and better this year, the week-long festival includes an array of activities from talks, film screenings, exhibitions and its notorious music concert, Sounds of Freedom. This year, the music component of the festival features two sponsored stages, with an array of new and established names including kwaito veteran Zola, Botswana songstress Mpho Sebina and the people’s deejay, DJ Kenzhero, among many others.
Located at the historical Constitution Hill, this year’s festival sees the launch of ‘We The People’, a nationwide advocacy programme that seeks to create awareness around the South African constitution, and the values enshrined within it. Encouraging public participation, We The People seeks to spark dialogue and commitment to the constitution as we celebrate 21 years since its establishment.
Created to promote and provide a platform for the large range of creative disciplines prevalent in youth culture today, Basha Uhuru sees several showcases forming part of the festival. Conversations of Freedom (which kicks off the festival tonight), Rides of Freedom (a Jozi social biking initiative), Expressions of Freedom (showcasing visual and performing arts) and Visions of Freedom (a mini South African film festival).
Basha Uhuru’s Afropunk stage features a host of local artists in anticipation of the festival’s first appearance on the African continent, with firms faves like DOOKOOM on the line-up. The festival will also be taking a look back over the past 5 years through the work of its creative director and illustrator Lazi Greisapces Mathebula, alongside photographer Lee-Roy Jason. Lazi’s work has become an integral part of Basha Uhuru’s identity, with his colourful etchings bringing ordinary items and sights to life.
If you’re in Jozi and are hungry for a festival that encompasses multiple aspects of youth culture, be sure to grab your tickets for Basha, which you can grab here.
Also, for a taste of what the fest was like last year, take a look at songbird Nonku Phiri’s 2016 performace: