Aroundhiphop and The Blk Power Station Present: The Return of the Cypher Festival

Aroundhiphop is proud to re-present its flagship hip hop festival, The Return of the Cypher, at the National Arts Festival 2019. This three-day festival, which will, for the first time, be hosted at the Blk Power Station (Aroundhiphop’s base at the Old Power Station in Makhanda’s industrial area) will feature collaborations with artists, faculty, students, and community members from the University of Virginia (US).

The festival will be a platform for exchanging ideas about creative economies for the arts, land rights, and ‘sister spaces’ linking people and places between Makhanda, Virginia, and Northern Tanzania.

“Because of the divisions wrought by the recent name-change of our Creative City, we felt that it is important to add an educational element to our programme with the ‘Know Your History’ hip hop battles. The hope with this is for the conciliatory spirit of hip hop battling to permeate into the public discourse of the town,” says X Madinda, the organiser.

Joining the festivities will be artist and scholar A.D. Carson, Professor of Hip Hop at the University of Virginia.

The programme looks like this:

Day 1 – 1 July 2019

12pm – 1pm: A talk presented by Sean Devonport titled The Immersive Listening Experience
1pm – 2pm: Hip hop beatmaking session with BIZ, Beatology, Ryan, Sean Devonport and Azlan Makalima.
2pm – 6pm: Know Your History rap/breakdancing battles
6pm – 7pm: Walls and Pillows (Dir. Mapula Setlhako)
7pm – 9pm: Live music set by Iphupho L’ka Biko

Day 2 – 2 July 2019

11am – 12pm: Opening and walkabout of Daring to Live (a photographic exhibition by Mzoxolo Vimba)
12pm – 1pm: Opening and walkabout of Tshepo Bopape’s The color of sound (a collection of visual artworks)
1pm – 2pm: Wits Stash drama piece titled Ha Bra Saki by Moeketsi Kgotle
2pm – 3pm: Wits Stash drama piece titled Identity Crisis (Dir. Amo Helang)
3pm – 4pm: A talk presented by Mbe Mbhele titled Um’shanyeloooo, um’shanyelo bakhozi: Marginal narratives and how they have been dispensed in our literatures and our arts
5pm – 6pm: Lecture-performance by Prof A.D. Carson.
6pm – 7pm: Live performance by Tsviehloheem ThePrinciple
7pm – 9pm: Live music set by Gontse Makhene, Joe (Khora) & Yonela Mnana

Day 3 – 3 July 2019

11am – 1pm: Away with the colonial gaze! A conversation on the need to re-frame how the township is depicted in film
1pm – 2pm: Physical theatre piece titled Prisoners of Heaven (Devised by the cast: Diphapang Mokoena, Lehlohonolo Khantsi, Sibusiso November and Thapelo Madekoa).
2pm – 3pm: Reading by Nduduzo Makhathini and discussion around healing in music
3pm – 5pm: Workshop on sampling traditional African music hosted with the International Library of African Music (ILAM)
5pm – 7pm: Film screening of Ubuhle documentary, followed by a Q&A with the director Mbali Mashaba.
7pm – 9pm: Live music set with Nombasa Maqoko

Day 4 – 4 July 2019

11am – 12pm: Panel discussion about the role of community and social media platforms for promoting local artists with Azlan Makalima
12pm – 1pm: Pina (A musical theatre piece by Sibusiso Mkhize)
1pm – 2pm: Book launch of Prof Nomalanga Mkhize’s In Africa with Avi and Kumbi.
2pm – 3pm: Uthimba (a 3-man play directed by Sifiso Ngwane)
3pm – 4pm: Live writing session
4pm – 5pm: Conversation on Bra Zim Ngqhana with Kabelo Mofokeng.
5pm – 6pm: A conversation on cultural and social entrepreneurship in the global South with Lehlohonolo Peega and Traver Mudzonga.
6pm – 7pm: Live music set by a collective of Wits Music Division students led by Enoch Maruthu, with the musical direction provided by Godfrey Mntambo.
7pm – 9pm: Live music sets by Msaki & Friends | Odwa Nonkwali