Tourism Indaba highlights music and fashion

By Drum Digital
14 May 2013

Culture and Heritage took centre stage at this year’s Tourism Indaba which opened on Saturday at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. Visitors were treated to a stunning showcase of South African talent at the opening ceremony with stellar performances from The Soil and Zakes Bantwini.

Zakes, wearing a bright pink suit, had dignitaries, visitors and locals dancing in the aisles to his latest track, Karolina from his new album, Upfront with Zakes Bantwini. He also performed some of the best tracks from his award winning album ‘Wasting my Time’.

South African Tourism’s plan to showcase South Africa’s Heritage through fashion and design was brilliantly executed by local designers Nkensani Nkosi, Thula Sindi, David Tlale and Marianne Fassler.  Each of the designers was asked to design pieces inspired by two of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Africa.  Nkensani used Tabled Mountain and the Isimangaliso Wetland Park as inspirations for her vibrantly coloured micro mini and long flowing silk creations.

Working with a young designer whom she mentored, Nkensani produced the designs which were displayed at the Heritage Pavillion which opened for the first time at the Tourism Indaba.

“It was great to be able to step out of my ordinary way of thinking about what works on the runway and become fantastical in my design,” said Nkensani.  “We air brushed the silhouette of Table Mountain onto the silk fabric, an extremely delicate process.”

The Soil was the perfect choice to showcase the changing culture of music in South Africa.  Their music fuses the old style tradition of acappella and contemporary beat-boxing made famous in the nineties.  Together the three acts, presented the evolution of South Africa’s musical and cultural traditions as part of the focus culture and heritage.

The Heritage and Culture Pavilion showcased South Africa’s world heritage sites, its leisure offerings, culture, art, design and music.

“More and more tourists are looking for intimate, personal connections with South Africa’s people, its history, culture and attractions, the Pavilion tells South Africa’s story, strongly promote its heritage sites and give better insight into its people,” said South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima.

The pavilion, a major project by the National Department of Tourism, South African Tourism, and the MOJA Heritage Collection, is an exhibition of some of the country’s best heritage and culture tourist offerings and distinctively South African tourism products and elements of it will be showcased at international tourism events for the remainder of the year.

-Nontsikelelo Mpulo

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