Zindala Zombili celebrates African culture

By Drum Digital
10 February 2016

Zindala Zombili African Music and Dance Festival is back with a bang, and this year’s edition promises to blow away the lovers of South African culture.

By Nomzamo Ngcobo

The festival was launched with a few performances yesterday at the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani, Soweto.

It will start with an interactive schools programme from the 15 February to 18 February at the Soweto Theatre, followed by a massive seven-day culture and heritage explosion at Constitution Hill from 7 - 13 March.

Festival director, Zindala Zombili founder and President of the African Cultural Heritage Trust Qhuzulini Sithole says this year’s festival will have a lot of educational activities. “People will get to learn about different cultures, the festival will give us an understanding of the importance of different cultures,” he tells DRUM.

Sithole founded the festival in 1984 in cooperation with Zulu music and dance in schools around Soweto, but later got different cultures to join in. He says, “In the olden days, people thought African music and dance was for people in the hostels or people from the rural area. And at the time, it wasn’t easy because some people even said I should be burnt for what I was doing, but I didn’t stop because I knew that our people should know their roots and I knew that this was a calling.”

Sithole says Zindala Zombili has grown a lot since then and they now see more people participating. He also tells us that the festival aims at promoting the fact that everyone is the same, regardless of the language they speak or their culture.

The festival will also feature music and dance from Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and other African countries with more than 560 performers, film screenings, visual art exhibitions, educational exhibitions, commercial trading space and interactive public workshops.

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