Celebrating freedom: 20/25 concert in Pretoria
German Ambassador Dr. Horst Freitag handed over a check worth 5 million Euro to Acting Mayor, Cllr. Terence Mashego of the City of Tshwane
November 9: 20/25 concert in Pretoria
A sunny and festive afternoon on November 9 in Moretele Park set the scene for South African and German artists to celebrate the anniversary of freedom in their respective countries.
The end of Apartheid and the Fall of the Berlin Wall brought freedom for millions and transformed the world for the better. The anniversaries of these events in 2014, 20 years democracy in South Africa and 25 years of the Fall of the Wall, were celebrated in a special concert in Pretoria on November 9.
The musical line-up was jammed with talent and the crowds that gathered on the grounds that steamy afternoon were enthralled with what they heard and saw. South African and German artists entertained young and old alike, sharing not only music and drama, but authentic messages of appreciation for the joys of freedom delivered 20 and 25 years ago.
What freedom means - from the heart
Each of the artists had a unique sound to share with the diverse crowd and brought those attending out from under their sun umbrellas, out of their chairs and off their picnic blankets to dance, sing and party at stage front. The vibe was as warm as the sun and the harmony and fun clearly were binding factors. From young to old, the festival atmosphere was relaxed and playful.
German DJ and house music master Ralf Gum and loop composer and musician Konrad Küchenmeister and Mad Flows brought club music to the park, with the big players in the South African music scene Loyiso, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Lira performing local as well as international favourites. And with their music came their authentic voices and messages of how the anniversaries were linked and what they meant to them. Küchenmeister told the crowd how his ambitions to tour and travel the world were only realised because the wall came down. Coming from the former East Germany, none of it would have been possible for him had that wall remained. Also touring in South Africa with Mad Flows would never have been allowed.
Lira recounted her memories of watching the footage of the wall coming down on TV and the first democratic elections in South Africa. Yvonne Chaka Chaka related how freedom in South Africa and Germany resonated across all of Africa.
The Acting Mayor of Tshwane Cllr. Terence Mashego also commented that he wished Nelson Mandela could have been there to see the audience gathered. He said Madiba would have been proud of the event and that it embodied the South Africa he envisioned as he led the nation away from the Apartheid era.
And the appreciation for Germany was there too. Yvonne Chaka Chaka highlighted the support South Africa has had from Germany for so long and playfully said of German-South African ties: „Alles klar, Alles good, good. Vielen Dank!“
Lira informed the crowds that she was in fact married to a German and as she finished up her set, she closed the concert with her hit “I feel Good”, teaching the refrain in German to the audience. The night wrapped up with hundreds of German-South African flags waving and a thousand voices singing “Es geht mir gut”. The anniversary and everyone present certainly felt good!
Music and more
Punctuating the various musical acts were both theatrical performances and special appearances by the German Ambassador and Acting Mayor of Tshwane.
The Drama for Life theatre group from Wits University had the audience on their feet and there was a very special re-enactment of the Fall of the Wall by young students of the German School Pretoria at the start of the show.
In addition to the music and dramatic performances, German Ambassador Horst Freitag took to the stage to present to the Acting Mayor of the city of Tshwane, Cllr. Terence Mashego, a check for 5 million Euro (70 Million Rands) for projects designed to increase safety in Mamelodi, the township where the concert was staged.
Germany makes Mamelodi East a safer place for its residents
On Sunday, 9th of November, German Ambassador Dr. Horst Freitag handed over a check worth 5 million Euro to Acting Mayor, Cllr. Terence Mashego of the City of Tshwane to make Mamelodi East a safer place for its residents.
During a concert to celebrate “20/25: 20 years fall of Apartheid, 25 years fall of the Berlin Wall” in Moretele Park in Pretoria, Ambassador Freitag took the opportunity to reconfirm Germany´s support to South Africa in overcoming the legacies of the Apartheid regime. Inequality, social segregation and the lack of access to basic services are only some of the developmental hurdles the country still faces. Crime and violence are one of the results, affecting in particular the most vulnerable in society, women and children.
Since 2005, the German Government has supported South Africa in its efforts to reduce crime and violence in various townships: Khayelitsha and other municipalities in the Western Cape, Helenvale in the Eastern Cape and soon, Mamelodi in Gauteng.
“I am pleased to announce that very near to where we are right now, in Mamelodi East, German Development Cooperation will soon deliver on its commitment made in 2012 to further prevent violence and crime and begin another programme to increase safety and social cohesion”, Ambassador Freitag said.
“The project ‘Safety Promotion through Urban Upgrading,’ implemented by the German Development Bank KfW and financed by the German Government, will help the people of Mamelodi East to address the urgent needs of children, young people and women to prevent violence and increase their safety”, he continued.
The project will deliver infrastructural improvements, embedded into intelligent urban planning and the promotion of active citizenship. Facilities like community centres, early childhood development facilities, outdoor gyms and sports facilities will be constructed to give the residents spaces to meet and mingle. To promote skills training and career counselling, NGO´s will offer these services within the community centres.
“We highly appreciate the German support in Mamelodi” Acting Mayor Mashego from the City of Tshwane said after receiving the cheque. “We are excited about our new partnership” he continued.
In order to achieve the set targets, the City of Tshwane will at least match the German contribution of 5 million Euro.
German Embassy Pretoria