Artists perform for HIV/Aids awareness
A concert of hit music with a message of hope.
This is what Stellenbosch University’s Africa Centre for HIV and AIDS Management presented Sunday night (29 July) in the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town.
It was the Africa Centre’s annual South African Artists for Aids Awareness Concert. This year, the focus was on celebrating women in leadership.
Besides this concert, the Africa Centre also hosts an annual concert on World Aids Day, 1 December, where top South African and international artists share the stage.
Sunday night’s concert was part of a project to constantly make people aware of the Aids pandemic, how it influences their lives and what all of us can do to combat the effects of the pandemic. The Africa Centre sees the arts as one of its important platforms for education on issues related to HIV and Aids.
At the concert a variety of South African artists performed, which included Larry Joe. He started his singing career while still incarcerated at the Douglas Correctional Facility. Since then, Joe and his band has been a big success with performances of his own songs.
Prof Jimmy Earl Perry, Director of Educational Theatre and Arts at the Africa Centre, sang one of his favourite songs, “Flying without wings”, and dedicated it to his mother who died earlier this year.
The Voices of Love Ensemble, consisting of seven young singers from Cape Town, took over the stage with their energetic performances, while the dancers of Cape Dance Company also received huge applause from the audience.
The singers were accompanied by the Andrew Ford Band.
Magician Wolfgang Riebe had the audience in awe with his tricks, while the master of ceremonies, Soli Philander, had everyone roar with laughter.
At the concert, certificates were also presented to members of the Treatment Action Campaign who ran in this year’s Comrades Marathon. All eight who participated are HIV positive and live healthy lives.
The Africa Centre is part of SU’s HOPE Project, through which the University uses its knowledge and research to address some of South Africa and Africa’s pressing social issues.