Sophiatown’s Removal Commemoration


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A woman and her child walk over rubble left behind after the Sophiatown removals, 1959.

Sophiatown’s Removal Commemoration goes back to the future through music from 9-19 February 2018.

February 9 is the day when we traditionally remember the forced removals from Sophiatown (which began in 1955) and this month the Fr Huddleston centre team at the Sophiatown National Heritage House are commemorating through music.

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Sophiatown’s Removal Commemoration

  • Exhibition and Walking Tours 9-19 February
  • Children’s Music Workshops 18-19 February
  • Sophiatown Jazz Encounter 16 February
  • “Uprooted” Exhibition open Monday-Saturday 09:00 – 16:00 until February 19.

Bookings and enquiries: Rinkie 083 550 7130

In the face of recent losses of great cultural icons, most recently Bra Hugh Masekela, whose very first trumpet was a gift from Fr Trevor Huddleston, actor David Pheto, and Poet Bra Willie Kgositsile, remembering becomes an act of cultural preservation.

For this 63rd year of Commemoration, the

Huddleston Centre is hosting Raph Clarkson, trombonist, composer and educator, who will be collaborating with South African musicians, celebrating the historic partnership between South African and UK Musicians over the decades since the first major export of South African music, ‘King Kong’ went to London in 1961 – and with it Bra Hugh Masekela, Ntate Jonas Gwangwa, the late Miriam Makeba and many more of South Africa’s young and rising stars at the time, including the musical’s composer Todd Matshikiza.

The Sophiatown National Heritage House, also marks the Commemoration of Removals with the continuing exhibition “Uprooted” by Cornell Tukiri – a New Zealander who captured stories of former residents of Sophiatown in (August 2014) and who has loaned the collection to the Sophiatown venue.

The Heritage Exhibitions and Tours hosted in the original 1930s Sophiatown house include iconic black and white photographs of Sof’town’s cultural activists and reflections on major musicians in an article by Chris McGregor’s brother, Tom McGregor. TOURS can be booked every day by calling 083 550 7130

In looking to the future for this Commemoration, Raph will run Children’s Music Creation workshops on Saturday February 18th with a concert performance on Sunday 19 February at 16:00 suitable for families.

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