Basha – youth
The Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival took place once again in Johannesburg South AFrica at the Constitutional Hill (a South African heritage site rich with our history) from the 21st of June to Sunday the 25th of June. And I, Siphumelele Garry Chagwe, WAS THERE!
“Waar was jy?”
The festival exists to commemorate the youth of ’76 and how that fateful day brought us some of the freedoms we can enjoy today. The week was made up of talks, film screenings and exhibitions by young artists and for young artists and with everything being FREE Constitutional Hill was litered with copious amounts of youths at every point.
I, myself, had to cancel plans to go to a few talks with friends because, for some reason, I was swamped that week but I had to make sure that I made it to the Basha Sounds of Freedom festival that was basically the culmination of the entire weeks events. Great music, great food, some alcoholic beverages and the cherry on top? FREE ADMISSION!
Now I’m not much of a concert goer, I’m short and it just looks dangerous on tv, but Constitutional Hill has to be the best venue for a music concert of this magnitude. There were thousands of youths living their best ‘born free’ lives but not one person spilled a drink on me, why? Because although it was full, it wasn’t packed! No sir! There was ample room for all of us to “eat our youth” as Mgarimbe has encouraged us to do since before we knew what that meant. With two main stages (Nando’s and Afro-Punk) as you walked in you were welcomed by the Nandos stage that brought us South African FIRE (Thandiswa Mazwai, Zola 7, Speedsta and Nomisupasta as the host) only Nandos could have pulled off such an amazing line up of authentic South African talent, Nando’s is obviously not all tweets but by the looks of it they’re listening to the kids. And if all that wasn’t enough you walked up the hill you found the The AFRO PUNK stage, for those who didn’t know, with their first ever festival in Africa happening this December at Constitutional Hill, Afro Punk has taken up residency at Constitutional Hill and has been working hard to get involved in the Joburg city life by partnering with a lot of local acts such as Rosie Parade of Pussy Party (a femme centered event that happens every second Wednesday at Kitcheners Carvery Bar) who also got to play her sexy tunes on their stage, Nonku Phiri and Dope Saint Jude(the Queen Faves of the underground music scene) and they even partnered with S.G.O.D for a limited addition AFRO PUNK x S.G.O.D street wear line ONLY AVAILABLE AT THE AFRO PUNK STAGE! FOR ONE DAY ONLY! Talk about planting roots, we see you AFROPUNK.
Basha Uhuru has officially become the event of the year for young black South Africans.
Some of us (me) are still having flah backs of not just being there but the feeling of euphoria that had us all in a choke hold. I remember standing and watching us walk and talk and enjoy and I knew that this was what we deserved. Faces that I had seen in mobs of revolution as we fought for our right to education, at that moment, did not carry anger or sadness or any wounds of our opression… all of us were in a small slice of heaven drenched in Nando’s Peri Peri sauce and afro beats. WE DESERVE ALL OF THE NICE THINGS THAT BASHA UHURU WAS. Abeshisa amateki, beku HOT! Thank you to the organisers, the performers, the speakers, the barmen, the chefs, the cleaners, the ticket ladies at the door, everyone who I bummed cigarettes from and asked for directions to the bathroom, you all made that night too amazing for words. Bekumnandi shame.
“Ngob’ uyahambh’ sobuyesbonane”