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Ha Noi celebrates S African culture

Sep 24, 2004

VietNamNews - The capital will play host to a South African cultural showcase to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the country’s liberation from apartheid. The event will feature activities to display language, culture and South African traditions.

As part of the "Heritage Day" celebration on September 24, Pops Mohamed, a South African jazz artist and traditional musician, will play with a Vietnamese jazz band led by Quyen Van Minh at the Press Club starting at 10pm on Friday.

This afternoon at four o’clock, Mohamed will play with Vietnamese artists and students at the Ha Noi Conservatory of Music.

Mohamed is proficient in several instruments and was known in the 70s and 80s for playing township music, soul, funk and jazz on the guitar and keyboard before turning to traditional South African music and instruments.

In the 90s, he began recording the music of South African bushmen while integrating them into various projects ranging from jazz and funk to drum ‘n’ bass and trance. He has also worked as a producer and currently lives in Johannesburg.

"I use indigenous instruments in a modern context, so I can play with an orchestra," said Mohamed, "The reason why I’m doing this is to preserve not only the South African indigenous instruments but also to remind other people to protect their music. I believe if you don’t have a culture you might as well not be on this earth."

He also said that his efforts aim to raise awareness among young people about the value of traditional music and the importance of preserving it.

An exhibition of South African children’s literature will be held at the Ha Noi Children’s Palace, 36 Ly Thai To Street until September 27. The exhibition will house some 200 books supplied by the Children’s Literature Research Unit from the University of South Africa.

The Heritage Fashion fashion show will also be held at the Melia Hotel on Saturday with the participation of South African designers Maboitumelo Ingrid Motlhamare and Bongiwe Walaza and Vietnamese designer Minh Hanh.

Some 20 Vietnamese models and Africans who are living in Ha Noi will present the designs.

"We hope to show off how we interpret tradition in a modern way," said Motlhamare. "Through the show, audience members might get an image of how South African people look, dress and so on."

All the garments will be available for sale.

The Press Club will also be serving South African food and wine until the end of today.

vietnamnet Friday, September 24, 2004

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