Sunday, December 28, 2014

Elaborate Celebration of the Hopes and Dreams of a New South Africa in 'Africa Umoja'

The water bearers represent an integral part of village life in "Africa Umoja." Photos from Dre Barrett Photography.


entertainments go above and beyond mere showmanship and spectacle. The award-winning “Africa Umoja – 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy Tour,” for instance, while certainly spectacular, represents the pride and soul of a nation.

“Africa Umoja” celebrates the unity of the relatively new democracy found in South Africa today.

The “Africa Umoja” U.S. tour opened in Washington, D.C. on 6 Nov. Beginning Tuesday (30 Dec.) through 3 Jan. 2015, the troupe is at Miami for five performances at the Actor's Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre. The tour wraps in New York, with performances from 6 Jan. through 9 Jan. at Symphony Space.

The 32-person cast performs traditional and newly choreographed dances as well as folkloric and contemporary songs. Voices are raised in anthems that reflect the country's heritage and its future hopes.

In Zulu, “Africa Umoja” means together. It is the spirit of togetherness and harmony that this joyous production brings. (See video below).

“Africa Umoja” is a lavish and colorful show, weaving a tale of South Africa's stormy path to 20 years of freedom and democracy.

The narrative is driven by drumbeats, indigenous music and dance, lullabies and love songs articulating rural life, and the cultural melting pot of the cities. Gospel and jazz can also be heard among the genres of music in “Africa Umoja.”

No doubt, audiences in Australia, Cypress, Dubai, Korea, Sweden and other locales around the world, have related to some of the music echoing throughout the show. Miriam Makeba, also known as Mama Africa, along with the late Dolly Radebe, are two of the familiar names, whose music saw black South Africans through some of the worst days of the history of their homeland.

The gumboot dancers are a highlight of "Africa Umoja."

Through raised voices, movement and instrumentals, “Africa Umoja brings” uplift and passion.

Visit to learn more about “Africa Umoja – 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy Tour.”

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