FREE TO BE CONCERT, 15 AUGUST, 2008
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MEDIA RELEASE

6 August 2008

Free to Be: Celebrating Our Common Regional Identity

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, the Southern Africa Trust and MTN are hosting a Free To Be concert at WITS University Great Hall in Johannesburg on 15 August 2008 from 4-6p.m.

The purpose of this inter-cultural event is to create a platform for all southern Africans to reaffirm their commitment to understanding, tolerance, compassion and unity. The concert is open to members of the public at no charge. The youth orchestra of musicians from several southern African countries, and a selection of professional classical and jazz artists from southern Africa will be performing live.

 “We should all be free to be just who we are – wherever we go. And to be the best that we can be, so that we change forever the poverty and insecurity experienced by so many citizens of our region,” says Neville Gabriel, Executive Director of the Southern Africa Trust.  “This intercultural event will speak publicly beyond borders, politics and the limits of language.”

Gabriel added that, “One of the ways to prevent regional migration flaring up into a huge problem for our region, for example, is to address the root causes of why poor people are moving. The poor need social protection against destitution in the countries across our region. And they need support to change their lives forever by having opportunities to earn a living. The free to be concert will reaffirm the human dignity that we should all share – wherever we may be in southern Africa.”

MTN has volunteered to be part of the initiative in bringing this event to you.  MTN Group Executive and spokesperson Nozipho January-Bardill: “We are very pleased to be able to extend our support to the groundswell of unity that has arisen in the wake of the attacks.” 

The event will be produced by MIAGI (Music Is A Great Investment), a non-profit organisation that focuses on music education for children as a central tool of social upliftment, cultural awareness and positive social development. “We know, from experience, that music unites people, offering an invaluable contribution to community- and nation building,” says Robert Brooks, Director of MIAGI.  “We aim to include musicians from as many of the Southern African countries as possible,” he continues.

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For more info, contact;

Robert Brooks
Director
Music Is A Great Investment
Tel: +27 12 320 5154
Or

Petronilla Ndebele
Communications and Partnerships Manager
Southern Africa Trust
Tel: +27 11 318 1012
Email: communications@southernafricatrust.org