South African artists perform at FESPAM in honour of Nelson Mandela
The 9th edition of FESPAM (Pan-African Music Festival), under the theme African Music, Vector of Authenticity and Factor of Emergence will take place from 13 to 20 July in Brazzaville, Congo. FESPAM is a cultural and scientific event held every two years to promote African and diaspora music.
The Republic of Congo invited South Africa to be the country of honour in this year’s festival. The honour emanates from the bilateral discussions between South Africa and the Republic of Congo during the signing of the Cultural Agreement in November 2012. Minister Paul Mashatile described the relations as an important step towards strengthening African solidarity and improving people-to-people contact.
Both South Africa and Congo intend to work together to explore mutually beneficial partnerships towards the support of the music industry and production management services for the organisation of festivals.
South Africa will use its participation at FESPAM to promote South African music and expand market access for our artists within the continent. It will also identify synergies in the music business with the Republic of Congo.
The local artists billed to perform at the festival includes Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Micasa and Aka. They will share the stage with their African countries counterparts such as Youssou Ndour and Manu Dibango.
The full range of arts activities has been arranged comprising a symposium on arts and culture, specialists conducting a scientific analysis of the theme, an exhibition of traditional African musical instruments, a beauty contest and a showcase of African fashion diversity. There will also be the Seminar on Business of Music of Africa which planned to be an Inter African dialogue on the business of music production, manufacturing, licensing and distribution in Africa. The seminar will be attended by practitioners in various business fields of music industry. It will also help broaden contacts and networks amongst music promoters, producers and record companies. The South African Pavilion will be set up in Brazzaville for business meetings and to brand South African music products and information related materials.
Congo has also dedicated 18 July 2013 as “South Africa Day” during FESPAM, when the world will celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday. The highlight of the day will be a concert featuring the best of South African music, to celebrate Madiba’s legacy. The festival’s planned culmination is the closing ceremony at which awards in different categories will be made. South Africa will host a Congo Day in South Africa during 2014 which will showcase Congolese music and culture.