What he’s realised since attending Black Coffee’s Africa Rising, is that it’s perhaps more than just an event – it’s a movement.
Public holidays are often the perfect excuse to stay away from school or not have to deal with an annoying boss for a day or two. We seldom take the time out to actually dwell on what that particular day stands for, and what it means to us.
But Black Coffee is looking to change that.
This past weekend (27 April) Black Coffee showcased his Africa Rising concert for the first time in Johannesburg. The monumental event had first debuted in Durban two years ago and the Joburg premiere was more anticipated than any other musical event in recent years.
MORE THAN JUST A GOOD TIME
In the spirit of clichés, the show was one not to be missed! Performing to a capacity crowd, Black Coffee commanded the hearts, souls and bodies of every single person that was in attendance. The sheer quality at which the event was executed set a new precedent for all major events within the house music industry. The only fault, if I can even call it that, was it was too short. Never have I been left begging for more like that cool autumn night in the heart of Soweto. But there was more to the event than just showing people a good time. The plan was far greater.
WHAT BLACK COFFEE SAID
Freedom Day marks an important day in the history of South Africans – it commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994. Without that event in our history, literally none of this would have been possible and Black Coffee is well aware of this.
Speaking on Freedom Day Black Coffee echoes the sentiments of many elders, “Freedom Day marks a big thing for our country; it got us where we are today but I also feel the younger generation doesn’t know some of the things that happened in our country. Yes they know that we were once oppressed, but they don’t know the whole story and I think if they learnt about that they’d appreciate everything a little bit more.”
WHAT OTHERS SAID
The magnitude of the influence Black Coffee was looking to achieve is even clear to see within those who are closest to him. Sai & Ribatone shared their thoughts on what the concert meant to them saying, “For us being from Soweto and being involved in an event of such great magnitude at a historic venue was both inspirational and humbling”.
The media shy DJ Strat3gy also spoke on the event and said, “Africa Rising in Soweto on Freedom Day was the beautiful continuation of a remarkable story of self-reliance and afro-optimism through music. Every performer gave it their all and it was a highlight of my personal career.”
WHAT AFRICA RISING CAN BECOME
Simply put, Africa Rising is more than just an event, it’s fast becoming a movement and not just that but a movement with a meaningful purpose. Whether the fruits of Black Coffee’s work will be seen and appreciated any time soon, remains a mystery but the seed has been planted and that’s what matters.
The late great Bob Marley used music to unite a torn nation when he made political rivals; Michael Manley and Edward Seaga embrace on stage at an event that simulated the spirit of Africa Rising. There is no doubt that Black Coffee, Africa Rising and the power of placing it on Freedom Day, could result in something of equal proportions blossoming from it.
Thanks Black Coffee, Africa is truly rising.
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