Gauteng Business News

7th International Marimba & Steelpan Festival To Pay Homage To Dr Nelson Mandela


With 2018 marking the 7th edition of the International Marimba and Steelpan Festival and centenary of the great statesman Nelson Mandela, the theme for this year's event is 'to celebrate the life and times of the father of our democracy'. Curated by Education Africa in partnership with the St Dominic's Catholic School for Girls in Boksburg, the festival will be held on the 28th and 29th of July.

The two day festival which brings about 80 institutions from all over Southern Africa, who come together to compete as well as share their love for music, has a series of competitions and workshops taking place simultaneously throughout the weekend event. Featuring 250 performances composed of 2000 young and old performers competing to be the best marimba/steelpan band, the festival is divided into two; one being the main and focal point of the festival which is a series of competitions taking place in the main venue and the other being a fringe programme comprising of over 90 workshops in different music disciplines.

The workshops, a melting pot for social cohesion see different people from various social and cultural backgrounds meet for the first time in a marimba or steelpan workshop and begin to learn and play music together, echoing the words of Madiba who said "Music is a great blessing. It has the power to elevate and liberate us. It sets people free to dream. It can unite us to sing with one voice. Such is the value of music".

"If you are interested in meeting new people and learning how to play djembe drums, the marimba or steelpan, the mbira (thumb piano) or a number of different dance disciplines including gumboots, hip hop and Sepedi, then this festival is the place to be for you and your family says Joan Lithgow, director of the festival."

The main competition which is divided into various age groups and categories sees continuous performances throughout the festival ranging from classical renditions, jazz-influenced arrangements, traditional music of all cultures, afro pop and the best of pop music to date. Some of the highlights of the festival are the two massed items, the massed djembe/drumming experience and marimba and steelpan performance. And this year's piece of music that will be taught and performed for the massed marimba and steelpan experience is to pay homage to President Nelson Mandela who expressed, "It is music and dancing that make me at peace with the world."

"As a vehicle for massed social cohesion, music as a tool has the power to bring people together and build bridges of tolerance, acceptance and greater understanding. And it is for these reasons, that the 2018 International Marimba and Steelpan Festival is the best place for one to come and experience the power of music and the unity it can bring to our country and the world at large. Though this is a competition, the camaraderie is infectious. The participants are just excited and grateful to be part of such a large gathering of oneness, ubuntu and unity." ends Joan Lithgow.

The Festival will be held at the St Dominic's Catholic School for Girls, Kruger Street in Boksburg and tickets costs are as follows:

1-Day Gate Entrance to Main Event Only: R60 For adults and R40 for children and R200 for a full 2-day festival pass including all activities for both adults and children.

Times: 8am - 9pm on Saturday 28 July

8am - 6pm on Sunday 29 July

For more information kindly visit or call Education Africa on 0116857300 for all enquiries.

For media queries, media accreditation, interview requests and to access high resolution pictures contact JT Comms on or 011 788 7632

Hosted By: Education Africa
Date of Event: 2018-07-28
Venue: St Dominic’s Catholic School for Girls
Contact Person:
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