Spirit of the new South goes North: Stars of the modern South Africa

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Anyone who has ever fingered a Cape apple in doubt will appreciate the importance of Saturday's Viva South Africa concert in Highbury Fields. Some of the artists are former exiles: trumpeter Hugh Masekela and singer Miriam Makeba, who used to be married, spent 30 years away from their homeland. Londoners have grown to know them as much for their appearances on the small venue scene as for their widely publicised opposition to apartheid. However, it is the newer, younger stars of the continent who will show what the modern South Africa is listening to now.

Topping the bill alongside Masekela and Makeba will be Yvonne Chaka Chaka, making an exciting debut here. She mixed English language pop with township mbaqanga on her 1993 album Back On My Feet (Teal Records) and earned herself the title 'Princess of Africa'. Brenda Fassie ('the Madonna of Soweto') is also one of the star jive artists of the show. Other acts include roots reggae from Lucky Dube, a capella singing from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and poetry from Mzwakhe Mbuli. The names are big enough to attract a cross-section of London's varied African population, and the music is lively enough to get everyone up off their picnic blankets. A Live Aid-style get together will be the most likely end to this emotional day.

Highbury Fields, N5 (12noon-10.30pm, pounds 17.50, info 071-477 3800, booking: 071-344 4444)

(Photograph omitted)

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