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March 5th

Concerts, Collaborations & Local Market 

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Featuring acclaimed artists from the USA, France and Southern Africa coming together for the first time on stage : 

The Brother Moves On (SA)  “Freedom Songs Project’’ Feat. Msaki (SA), Gontse Makhene (SA) , Malcolm Jiyane (SA), Bholoja (SZ)  and students from the 'Morris Isaacson Centre for Music’...

It will also be the first appearance of Raashan Ahmad (USA) in South Africa, who has worked with Blackalicious, Jurassic 5, (The Roots),  Aloe Blacc, Nicola Conte …

We will also welcome the return of the Paris-based dynamic  duo Djeuhdjoah and Lieutenant Nicholson (FR) who will present their new album and extend the  collaboration they  started in 2019 with Cool Affair (SA)  SA’s ‘Prince of Nu-Jazz and breakbeats’ - this time performing together live !


DJ SET including: 

NickyB (Kaya959)2lani the Warrior, Shamrock Guitor… 



Locrate Market : 

 Soweto’s famous market will present 15 stalls with delicious food and local arts and crafts for a day of fun and culture !

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Freedom Songs 

Artists will honor the South African "musical revolution" with "The Freedom Songs Project" 
An event Musically directed by Siyabonga Mthembu and Mthunzi Mvubu 

Historically, music has played an integral role in addressing injustice, asserting human rights and offering hope, particularly in troubled countries and during times of revolution. Artists have long used their art and platform(s) as a reflection and representation of their people’s plight.

In South Africa, struggle songs have played a major political role and Hugh Masekela once described the country’s journey to liberation as a ‘musical revolution’.

During these challenging times, both politically and due to the Covid pandemic, artists are once again using their voices to express the sentiments of the people and/or encourage hope, resilience and healing.

For this event, we bring together some of Africa’s finest, alongside guests from the US and France, for a unique collaboration exploring Freedom Songs from the Past, Present and Future. ‘The Brother Moves On’ an eclectic, barrier-breaking musical art ensemble from Johannesburg, will perform as the backdrop for guest appearances from acclaimed artists. These guests include the powerful, poignant, South African singer-songwriter from the Eastern Cape, Msaki, as well as Swaziland’s Bholoja and his evocative voice and soulful-folk guitar playing. The conscious Hip-Hop and spoken word artist from US, Raashan Ahmad will also join them, as will both members of the Paris-based dynamic duo DjeuhDjoah & Lieutenant Nicholson, as well as students from Soweto’s iconic institution, the 'Morris Isaacson Centre for Music’ and more….

‘Freedom Songs’ will be musically directed by Siyabonga Mthembu and Mthunzi Mvubu, both highly regarded for their experience as musicians, collaborators and creative-innovators. All the artists involved in this surely historical performance are committed, each in their own way, to community building and connecting with people… so they’ve been chosen to create as a collective, to re-interpret freedom songs from the archives and/or create new ones.

PNYH will partner with IFAS on this event

“…we have now, more-than-ever, the responsibility to build today for a better tomorrow!”


Line up

The Brother Moves On feat Bholoja (SZ), Raashan Ahmad (USA), Students from ‘Morris Isaacson Centre for Music’ [Soweto], Gontse SPAZA (SA), Malcolm Jiyane (SA)

Djeudjoah and Lieutenant Nicholson (FR) feat Cool Affair (SA), 2lani the Warrior(SA) Shamrock (SA)

Connecting artists of all generations :


The Morris Isaacson Centre for Music (MICM) : who they are

The Morris Isaacson Centre for Music (MICM) is an independent music institution located on one of the most historically important schools in South Africa, the Morris Isaacson High School. The high school was a key location during the 1976 June 16 Soweto uprisings and produced a significant number of Soweto’s professional and political elite for fifty years. 

Youngsters and experienced artists will be able to share while performing.

16 kids from the Morris Isaacson Centre for Music (MICM) will performing for the Freedom Songs project! 

MICM A student and a teacher go through classical musical compositions inside the library

MICM has been providing world-class formal music education to the children of Soweto from early childhood development level to the final year of high school since 2012. MICM uses music education as a tool for human development, and activity is provided as an after-school program to the children of Soweto. We are very excited to be sharing this experience with them, we know our values connect us.


March 4th

“We have now, more-than-ever, the responsibility
to build today for a better tomorrow!”

Conversations and discussions

A series of conversations and exchanges exploring the theme of Human[U]nity. Open to the public and facilitated by Nicky Blumenfeld (Kaya959), guest speakers will include Benjamin Levy (Festival Director, promoter, educator), Azah (master percussionist and music therapist), Lance McCormick, (current director at Flame Studios), Itu (from Viva Nation Radio), Raashan (international DJ, rapper, composer and collaborator) and Mandla Mlangeni (independent artist, audio visual and events management, educator and director of Mandla Mlangeni Music):

1. Lance McCormick - Music executive, former Director at Bassline, current director at Flame Studios 

Topic: "Flame Studios - it's vision, purpose and role in establishing the ‘The Hill Music Development Arc"

Lance McCormack is a South African music industry ‘veteran’ who manages Flame Studios at Constitution Hill. The Flame Studios recording hub is a world-class facility built into the ramparts of the historic Old Fort. It is a registered Non Profit Company that has a unique music developmental mandate, while also offering high end commercial recording, performance and production facilities. Named after the Flame of Democracy that burns permanently outside the Constitutional Court, Flame Studios has become a home for musicians and creatives who are actively re-shaping the narrative of contemporary South African music.


2. Azah - Independent artist, master percussionist and sonic healer

Topic: ‘The Sacred Role and Significance of the Drum in Communities’

Tinyiko Mpho Mphago wa Mabasa, professionally known as Azah is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer,  musical director, cultural activist, educator and philanthropist from SA’s Jazz capital Mamelodi. Known as one of the finest South African percussionists of our generation, he was born into a family of traditional healers and began playing  drums at the age of 8, and from a young age he worked as part of Dr Philip Tabane’s famous band, Molombo. Azah has researched, studied and practiced the drums and percussion as a medium of healing and as a way of artistic and spiritual expression.

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3. Itumeleng Mosadi - Viva Nation Radio Station Manager

Topic: ‘The importance of creating relevant and quality content for online presentation and digital spaces, and its impact for music practitioners’

Itumeleng Mosadi, also known as Shotgunflava or Mr Gun in music Circles, is a qualified Sound Engineer and Journalist as well as a versatile and passionate musician having shared stages with international music acts such as Migos and the Mahotella Queens. He started working in the music industry in 2008 under an independent record label as a Sound Engineer and A&R assistant, and was signed to one of the biggest independent record labels (Mabala Noise) Itumeleng currently work as a Radio Station Manager for a cutting edge Online radio station (Viva Nation Radio) and has vast experience as a music compiler having compiled music for in house retail radio stations such as Pick n Pay,  Makro and Airports Radio as well as compiling mood music playlists for various corporate clients.


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4. Mandla Mlangeni - Independent artist, audio visual and events management, educator and director of Mandla Mlangeni Music

Topic: ‘Activating spaces and connecting community through the arts and education’

Mandla Mlangeni is a Johannesburg-based trumpeter, composer and bandleader. A prolific and talented player, Mandla is a member of the SAMA-nominated group Amandla Freedom Ensemble and has toured extensively as a member of the Cape Town Opera. His musical production ‘Oratorio For A Forgotten Youth’ was premiered by the Artscape Opera House, and he also leads the highly active ‘Tune Recreation Committee’, a group which he founded to teach music workshops and provide healing to disenfranchised communities. In 2020, Mandla received a OneBeat Accelerator grant for his project ‘Afrikan Freedom Principle’, an online platform for a wide community of musicians and arts practitioners to share insights on current developments in the industry, including a podcast, panel discussions, archives, and workshops on everything from music theory to marketing to performance to preservation.

5. Benjamin Levy - Founder and Director of Paris New York Heritage Festival

Topic: ‘New Models and Initiatives for the Music Industry and Artist Development, both locally and Internationally’

After over twenty years of promoting various artists including George Clinton, James Brown, Boosty Collins, and many more; Benjamin Levy created the Paris New York Heritage Festival. Benjamin wanted to pay homage to the music and culture of the African Diaspora, to which the music of today’s world, as well as his career, owe their roots. In 2016, the PNYH festival was born as a tribute to this heritage. "I hope the festival opens the doorway for viewers to create their own point of view on this topic. Think of the event like an internet network- we hope to increase awareness about the theme and encourage all to form their own opinions. Everyone is welcome at this event; you may like, dislike, agree, disagree... but hopefully you will leave with your answer... or perhaps even more questions on this theme. Normally at a festival you eat, you drink, you consume! Think of this as another way to consume, its a sharing of cultures in a way a “typical” festival does not provide. Through conversation, deep questions, music, film, and company we will engage with the material and all leave different than before the festival began".   - B.Levy


6. Raashan - International DJ, rapper, composer and collaborator

Topic: ‘The Hidden Healing Power of Music in Communities’

Raashan Ahmad (USA) is a DJ, rapper and collaborator that crosses borders and boundaries by fusing elements of hip hop, soul, jazz, world music, funk, and different artistic mediums. Considered one of the most “evolving, exciting and collaborative vocalists” of today, he has already toured across North America, Europe, Japan and Australia, and has done collaborations with Wax Tailor, Blackalicious, Jurassic 5, Aloe Blacc, Keziah Jones, Stro Elliot (The Roots), Fred Wesley (The J.B’s) and Nicola Conte amongst others.


7. Leote "Lee" Taylor - Project Manager SACII

Topic: “#normalisingaccess” - Creating innovative, sustainable business development and initiatives for arts, culture and heritage smme’s

Durban born Leote is a multi-skilled, talented creative and serial entrepreneur. She is experienced in incubation programme design and management and an expert in creative SMME development. She project manages and oversees all the SA Creative Industries Incubator's incubation programmes. She is devoted to ensuring that Creatives from all walks of life have access to the Creative Economy. Lee is also a seasoned vocalist and songwriter with a degree in Musical Theatre from the Tshwane University of Technology. She has her own production company that does artist development and the founder of an annual event called the Ultimate Fashion Exchange

Facilitator: Nicky B - DJ, Radio Host of The World Show - Kaya959

NickyB is a well respected and highly experienced South African DJ and music specialist.  She is also a producer, compiler, writer, educator and for the past 24 years, has been the producer presenter of The World Show on Johannesburg-based radio station KayaFM 95.9.  NickyB began The World Show in 1997, when Kaya FM was launched as the first black-owned, independent radio station in the newly democratic South Africa.  Informative, and largely pan-African, hers is a musical journey that travels across continents and timelines. With in-depth interviews and features, it’s a very well established show with a loyal listenership.

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March 3rd

Meet & Greet


At the Edikeni Bar/Lounge

(Private event, with invitation only) 

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To listen

Simmy (SA)

Simmy is a South African singer-songwriter with a huge following. She gained prominence in 2018, after signing a record deal with EL World Music and working closely with Sun-El Musician. Her debut album Tugela Fairy (2018), was spawned with hit singles like "Ngiyesaba", "Ubala", "Umahlalela"; and her second studio album Tugela Fairy (Made Of Stars) was released in 2020, with chart-topping single "Ngihamba Nawe" on the top 100 airplay charts. Her hard-hitting songs touch on modern issues and more personal narratives speaking to life and love in the digital age. Simmy is a powerful and evocative vocalist and undoubtedly one of South Africa’s shining stars!

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The Brother Moves On  (SA)

The Brother Moves On (TBMO) is a South African band and performance art ensemble from Johannesburg founded by Siyabonga Mthembu. The group began as a self-proclaimed pluri-disciplinary arts collective but throughout the years it has incorporated many instrumentalists for their appearances in live performances and the concert scene. Currently, TBMO performs mainly as a band.


Bholoja (SZ)

Bholoja is a Swazi Soul musician from Swaziland. He is a local rising symbol of song art and culture. According to the young artist, Swazi tradition and way of life are his main artistic inspiration. His particular music brand, a version of Swazi Soul and African Pop, is gaining popularity in the south of the African continent, partly because of the performer’s amazing ability as a lyricist. Since his debut at House on Fire, Bholoja’s growing international appeal has allowed him to share the stage with artists such as Lokua Kanza and Tony Cox.


Msaki (SA)

Singer, songwriter, composer, Msaki is a talented musician from East London, South Africa. She has also studied Visual Art and Design - it was actually during her studies that the composer formed her first music band. In 2013 the artist independently recorded and released an EP, Nal’ithemba, soon after which she released her debut album: Zaneliza: How the Water Moves. She has worked with artists such as Nduduzo Makhathini, Madala Kuene and Salif Keita.


Gontse (SA)

Gontse Makhene is a Soweto born musician and percussionist with over 17 years’ of experience in the music industry. He is one of the founding members of Gontse Makhene Le Baagisane, Shabaka and the Ancestors, Manjik (Ancestors), Peanut Butter and Jam, Planet Lindela (2013) and the 2004 SAMA nominated Kwani Experience. On the other hand, conceived in the Mushroom Hour Half Hour lab, SPAZA is a band with no permanent personnel, with each lineup assembled for the express purpose of recording once-off improvised or workshopped material.


Raashan Ahmad (USA)

Raashan Ahmad (USA) DJ, rapper and collaborator that crosses borders and boundaries by fusing elements of hip hop, soul, jazz, world music, funk, and different artistic mediums. Considered one of the most “evolving, exciting and collaborative vocalists” nowadays, he has already toured across North America, Europe, Japan and Australia, and has done collaborations with Wax Tailor, Blackalicious, Jurassic 5, Aloe Blacc, Keziah Jones, Stro Elliot (The Roots), Fred Wesley (The J.B’s) and Nicola Conte amongst others…

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Djeudjoah and Lieutenant Nicholson (FR)

Djeuhdjoah & Lieutenant Nicholson landed in 2015 with their first album T'es qui? on emerging label Hot Casa Records. Very quickly, the duo enchanted audiences with their fusion between french song, afrobeat, jazz, soul, reggae and urban music. Their last known release is an amazing bossa sound, Caipirinha, which was released on april the 3rd of 2020. 

Djeudjoah, whose real name is Georges-Olivier, was born in France to Cameroonian parents and  grew up between France and Senegal. Lieutenant Nicholson, also known as Nicolas Voulzy (his real name), is the son of the famous Guadeloupean musician Laurent Voulzy. He spent most of his youth in metropolitan France while traveling regularly to Guadeloupe and Martinique.


Cool Affair (SA)

Cool Affair is a young South African producer, DJ and sound engineer who specializes in Electro Jazz, Broken Beat, Nu Jazz and also produces House music, World music, Afro beats and Instrumental Hip-Hop. He started experimenting with music as a young boy and started producing when he was 18 years old by mixing Soul, Jazz and Blues.


2lani the Warrior (SA)

2lani the Warrior has been called the man responsible for the South African Deep House movement. This south african DJ has been breaking down dance floors all over South African clubs since 1997. Director of three labels, “Do it now Recordings”, “DeepStitched Records” and “Music Basket”, 2lani the Warrior is best known for his featuring on the highly influential “Boiler Room” series.


Shamrock Guitor (SA)

One of the first DJs in his region to perform live house music while mixing and eventually playing the guitar - Shamrock Guitor is a Joburg-born bandleader and composer. As a DJ he is highly praised for seamlessly mixing deeply rooted African sound elements with house music and other club genres.  Records such as People of the Rain, Watch and African Music by African People fill the airwaves of the World Show on Kaya FM by award-winning DJ and educator NickyB. His studio album released through Peng Records (2019) is readily available on digital stores under the title Unapologetic African Sounds.

> Visit website

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Malcolm Jiyane (SA)

A generous sideman and bandleader, multi-instrumentalist Malcolm Jiyane stands at the vanguard of his prodigious generation of jazz musicians. 


Partners and collaborators

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