By Lineo Segoete
Morija Museum and Archives (MMA) hosted a Heroes’ Day celebration at Renaissance Coffee and Café on 24th May as a precursor to the 2014 leg of the Morija Arts and Cultural Festival. Local band Major 7 set the tone for the evening while INI entertainment and the Bakehase reserved the consistency through energised and humble pieces that passed a positive and uplifting message to the audience.
These artists did not limit themselves to specific genres; the audience was spoilt to jazz, pop, reggae, Kwaito, dancehall, Famo and Afro-soul through which they carried their own originality and flair. In keeping with the theme the MC, Mpho Matete gave a brief yet powerful salutation to “the nobodies” that hardly receive recognition for the contributions they make: the mothers (surrogate or biological) who raised us, the guy in the street who helps a lady find her wallet with all its contents, the fathers who spend prolonged periods of time without seeing their families, the sisters who crave a social life but do not have one because they have to nurse their siblings and many more.
Kabaka and Cecilia of the Bakehase (a post Modern African collective) opened the show with a live Bongo jam-session. The segment was exceptionally well received in that although bongos are a popular African instrument they are rarely played in public spaces in the country. The set inspired the other artists to also incorporate the drums into theirs. InI followed with charmingly articulated and expressed poetry and Hip Hop backed by acoustic guitar and melodious vocals, all specifically tailored to suit the “unsung heroes” theme.
Major 7 enthralled everyone with their ability to shift between genres without ever once losing momentum. They improvised meticulously and kept the crowd captivated by throwing pleasant surprises at them and incorporating dance into their set. Passers-by in pioneer mall stopped in their tracks to get a whiff of the flavour and everyone wore big smiles on their faces.
The event was thrown as part of activities organised by MMA intended to sustain public visibility throughout the year besides the festival period alone. More importantly, it was organised to tribute our heritage as a people with gratitude and humility. The response was encouraging and sponsors Renaissance and BAM promotions were happy to have played a hand in seeing it to its realisation, as were the people who attended and sought to be entertained.
(See all photos from the event on Facebook by clicking here)