The Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth happening tomorrow might be taking place two months later than it was initially scheduled, but it’s still timely because it comes as celebrations of Africa month take place.
“We wanted to do it during Human’s Rights Month in March, owing to the programming and the money and resources we had to pull, we thought it would be best to host it during Africa Month. It also speaks to that solidarity with Africa and black consciousness. It all came together,” says Mandla Mlangeni speaking to The Citizen.
“I want them to be challenged; I want them to be inspired. I want them to be moved emotionally and I want them to enjoy the music and the offering. I want them to see what South African musicians have to offer,”says Malngeni about what he wants patrons to walk away with.
The trumpeter is the producer and director of the Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth.
Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth was launched in 2016, at Cape Town’s Artscape Theatre Centre, in honour of the 40th anniversary of the June 16 uprising.
“I applied for fund and received it, to have a partnership with the university (Wits) to host a series of performances, workshops and interventions. So this is one of the projects that culminated with the Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth, but it was started back in 2016 at the Artscape opera house,” says Mlangeni.
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The Wits Great Hall
The show will be staged at the Wits Great Hall and the venue is quite significant to Mlangeni as it is the same hall which his father, political activist and lawyer Bheki Mlangeni, graduated in during the state of emergency in 1986, the year Mandla was born.
The location also played an important role during the Fees Must Fall student protests in 2016.
Mlangeni is a recipient of the 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz. Together with his collective the Amandla Freedom, they will also launch their album which will be available on vinyl.
Other acts performing tomorrow include The Brother Moves, the Vivacious Sounds Choir, acclaimed sand artist Tawanda Mu Afrika, esteemed academic, pianist and scholar Yonela Mnana and a libretto by award winning poet and theatre practitioner, Lesego Rampolokeng.
“These are relationships that I’ve had; these are people that I’ve known in the music community and the friendships I’ve formed throughout the years. It’s people that I’ve also studied with-it’s brotherhood,” Mlangeni says of the acts on the line-up.
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