*Aims to expose communities in Qatar to African culture, cuisine and history, and to further strengthen cultural co-operation
After the successful performance of the internationally renowned ‘Mafikizolo Duo’ in Doha last night, African countries are now planning to bring more artistes and performers to Qatar in the near future, South African ambassador Faizel Moosa has said.
“We are busy discussing about the ‘African week’ where we will be exposing the communities here to African culture, cuisine and history, among others,” the envoy told reporters.
Moosa and other embassy officials welcomed the popular African performers, Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza, at City Center Rotana, hours before their first-ever performance in Qatar and the Middle East dubbed as ‘Afrotainment Night with Mafikizolo.’
Such a move, Moosa stressed, forms part of South Africa and the African group’s efforts to further strengthen relations with Qatar in the area of tourism and culture, among other fields of co-operation.
The African group is an organisation within the diplomatic community, which consists of 23 African ambassadors, according to the envoy. He hopes the Group will be able to bring more African performers in the future, noting that South Africa is currently working on a cultural exchange with Katara – the Cultural Village, which is expected to take place in the first quarter of next year.
“At this stage it is all in the planning stage and getting the funds for it. At the moment Qatar Airways has indicated a very keen interest in some of the cultural and tourism presentations that we made to them,” Moosa noted. “There will be more interaction between South Africa in terms of culture, tourism and education.”
About the Mafikizolo, he said the duo, which used to be a trio (a member tragically passed away in 2004) have been around for over 20 years – formed in 1996 at a time when South Africa was going through a transition. “Their songs have a very rich meaning for us South Africans because it talks about poverty, women’s issues, and freedom, among others,” Moosa added.
The band, he noted, also transcended two decades to remain relevant in terms of messaging and music and “we are welcoming them to Qatar.” “We think that we need to begin bringing more African music to Qatar because Qatar is known as a melting pot of all nations (and cultures), and (there are) a lot of Africans from Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, etc,” Moosa said. “It is just really to welcome them (Mafikizolo) and to expose them to other African countries that is represented here in Qatar.”
“Theo and Nhlanhla write their own music and compose their own songs. They are very popular and have been awarded thrice at the South African Music Awards, making the duo one of the most successful (performing) groups in our country,” he added.
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