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Freedom festival to celebrate artistic wealth of young SA creatives

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It’s been 41 years since the Soweto uprisings of June 16 and the future of South Africa’s young people looks bleak. Youth unemployment rates are chronic, with youngsters still languishing in poverty and plagued by crime, violence, unemployment and a lack of education. The struggle goes on and on, but, over recent years, the spirit of the Class of 1976 has lit a fire in the hearts of this generation.

Later this month, Constitution Hill, in partnership with Nando’s and the department of arts and culture, will commemorate the spirit of the students of 1976 with the annual Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival. It’s a celebration of the artistic wealth of young South Africans working in the creative industries.

Now in its fifth year, the event will feature a five-day programme, including a group art exhibition called Expressions of Freedom and creative talks titled Conversations of Freedom. Visions of Freedom is a film fest within the fest sponsored by the Gauteng Film Commission, while Rides of Freedom is a youth cycling tour that will link up various cultural hubs in the city. All these will lead up to the main attraction, which is the Sounds of Freedom concert featuring a hot line-up in two different venues within the Constitution Hill precinct.

Some of the artists are Thandiswa Mazwai, Stogie T, 2Lee Stark and Zola, with DJs on the decks that will include Ms Cosmo, DJ Speedsta, IAMPH, Twins On Decks, DJ Kenzhero and others.

The film screenings include local film Kalushi, Beyond the River, The Hangman and Uprize. They’ll be screened at the Women’s Gaol on Friday, 23 June.

*The festival is free, but you still need a ticket to enter, which you can get at Webtickets.

*For the full programme, visit constitutionhill.org.za/events.

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