South African musician will visit Westminster

Staff report


Grammy award winning musician and “empowerment facilitator” Bakithi Kumalo will spend a week at Westminster College sharing his message of “Take Chances, Have Courage.”

The message captures Kumalo’s upbringing in South Africa during the apartheid era.

Born and raised in Soweto, the Johannesburg township that was home to Nelson Mandela, Kumalo will talk about Mandela’s influences as a revolutionary, politician and philanthropist. He will also share the changes he witnessed first-hand upon the abolishment of the apartheid regime.

Kumalo will also talk about the making of Paul Simon’s landmark album “Graceland,” in which he played a major role.

Accompanied by The South African All Star Band, Kumalo and his colleagues will give multiple presentations and performances throughout the week of Feb. 12- 19.

The featured guests will play traditional South African classics that include earthy rhythms, rich melodies and songs sung in Zulu.

The movie “Under African Skies” will be screened at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 in Wallace Memorial Chapel. It chronicles the story behind the “Graceland” album and explores the cultural and political climate of South Africa 25 years ago.

Kumalo will be the guest speaker at services at the chapel at 7 p.m. Feb. 18, and his band will provide music.

He and his band will also give a concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 in Orr Auditorium. Admission is $10, which will support hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.

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