Christmas concerts for our people
“Music has a great power for bringing people together. With so many forces in this world acting to drive wedges between people, it’s important to preserve those things that help us experience our common humanity.” — Ted Turner, Turner Broadcasting System
The Motsepe Foundation hosts free entry music concerts in December each year, featuring the country’s top musicians, not only to give the youth of the country a humble Christmas gift, but also to bring people together, to entertain, to bring joy, and to inspire their creative talent and help them realize that their dreams can become reality, just like the young people they are watching on stage.
But, as Turner observes, music brings people together. It makes strangers to jump together, to to hold hands, and to sing together. At the end of the concert, strangers even become friends.
The music concerts bring a sense of celebration to more than 100 000 people, listening live – for some for the first time – to acts like Zahara, Mafikizolo, Micasa, Dr. Malinga, Dj Cleo, Dj Zinhle, Naves and Sphe, Arthur, Chomee, Oskido, Professor, HHP. Thebe, Donald, Lulo Café, Big Nuz, Oskido, Ntando and AKA. These are the country’s top music acts, and some young people have never had the opportunity to see them perform live because of the poverty of the townships.
The concerts are not just about musicians playing and people getting moving. It is about the enabling experience that people get. The tapping of feet, the dancing on the floor, all engage the musicians and draw people into feeling good about themselves and the world they live in. And, as Bob Marley said: One thing about music, when it hits you,, you feel no pain.
For several weeks in December, the music events become the focus of interest. Artists who have been engaged look forward to these events – many of them have the same sense of fulfilment that the Motsepe Foundation has putting up the concerts. At the end of the concerts many of the artists tell how they feel having participated, and request to be included in the planning for any shows. And the inspiration to young artists who are given a chance to play before the main acts, is beyond description.
But more importantly, the communities around the venues tell how the events have changed the lives of their children, and see the concerts as a catalyst for the development of the community. Music brings people together, and hence it is pleasurable at the time of Christmas which is a period which can sometimes be depressing for those who are unable to celebrate the birth of Christ. The concerts therefor are meant to lift the spirit of the people, to show them that somebody cares and to ensure that they get into the Xmas mood with their heads held high.
The concerts are held in the major metropolitan municipalities like Nelson Mandela Bay, eThekwini (Durban), Mbombela in Mpumalanga, Polokwane with the grand finale at the Moretele Park in Tshwane, where over 60 000 people cram into the venue in the week just before Christmas day
Most of our donations have been private but the need and challenges are great and we hope that our Giving Pledge will encourage others in South Africa, Africa and other emerging economies to give and MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.