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Virtual concerts, a lifeline in the dark days of hard lockdown

By Ntshadi Mofokeng

Nakhane’s Sounds From Africa performance sparks conversation and healing across generations.

I sat down with my mother, Boitumelo Mofokeng, to hear her thoughts on discovering a new generation of artists through virtual concerts hosted in 2020.  Just as we were home-bound and sharing moments we otherwise wouldn’t in our busy lives, our family was also just getting used to wearing the new look of mourning.

In this conversation I learnt just how special one concert in particular was for my mother. Nakhane’s performance in the Sounds From Africa concert series was a salve for her grieving heart. The tender performance, live streamed from his London apartment, struck a chord with my mother. She revisited a thread from her childhood memories about the power of music in healing and bringing people together. I also asked, cheekily, if she would join me in attending the live performances of all the new young artists she’s discovered – when the opportunity to do so safely arises.

Boitumelo Mofokeng PHOTO Cebisile Mbonani

Nakhane is a South African musician, writer and actor currently based in London. His 2018 album, You Will Not Die, was described by Pitchfork magazine as “Strikingly intimate…Nakhane’s voice is a deep and soulful instrument, and [they] employ it with both the delicacy of a feather and the weighty drop of a hammer.” While they are widely recognised for their musical and acting pursuits, Nakhane is also the author of a novel, Piggy Boy’s Blues (2015).

Scroll down to Previously on Skyroomlive and you’ll find Sounds from Africa three lines down, just click on Nakhane and enjoy the show!

Ntshadi Mofokeng

Ntshadi Mofokeng PHOTO Reikanne Mofokeng

Ntshadi Mofokeng is a cultural worker inspired by dance. She is active as a project manager and writer. She is also working on researching and documenting stories of/about dance(makers) in Africa. She started her career in education advocacy after attaining a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

This review was published as part of the Creative Feel My Art Radar project which was made possible by the National Arts Council’s PESP programme.

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