Dawid Minnaar en Bettie Kemp, Mirakel. Image: www.hansvanderveen.co (121)

Innibos takes over Mpumalanga capital

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Winter 2023 promises to sizzle. The Innibos National Arts Festival has shaken off the Covid blues and is back to its high-energy self.

Apart from a jam-packed programme that will unfold at the festival grounds located at Bergvlam High School from 29 June to 2 July, several events will be held at other venues across Mbombela.

English productions and events not to be missed include the Poetry Slam, Opera Extravaganza and Kazi Experience.

Poetry Slam (Words in my Mouth), a Mbombela poetry platform, promotes arts in general in the city and provides up-and-coming poets with the opportunity to perform. The event takes place on 30 June and 1 July, from 16h30 to 19h30, at 420MP, Suikerriet Street. Call Menzi Mkhonza at 073 512 1435 for more information.

Opera Extravaganza, a glorious celebration of opera, takes place on 2 July at 13:00 at the Mbombela City Theatre. The production features internationally renowned South African performers, who will delight with classics such as Pablo de Sarasate’s violin fantasy Carmen Fantasy, and an eight-hand, two-piano arrangement of Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro.

The stalwart of South African opera, soprano Loveline Madumo, will be joined by bass Otto Maidi and mezzo Linette van der Merwe, while the esteemed Juilliard School graduate Zanta Hofmeyr will dazzle on the violin. Several of the choral delights from operatic repertoire will be performed by the Nocoré Ensemble, and Theresa Prinsloo will lead six virtuoso pianists. Lowvelder Walter Fourie is the producer of this magnificent production.

The Ultimate Kasi Experience @Innibos will offer an explosion of food and culture. It takes place on 1 July, from noon until late, at Urban House in Sonpark. Patrons can enjoy a delicious selection of traditional African and township cuisine, including lidombolo (dumplings),  maotwana (chicken feet) and kasi peri peri chips, to name a few. These tasty treats, paired with local drinks and vibrant live entertainment, set the stage for local craftsmen to showcase their innovative products. This is your chance to savour the taste of Africa or own an original African creation. To reserve your spot, call 081 844 0505.


If it’s stage plays you’re looking forward to, don’t miss the doyenne of Afrikaans theatre, Sandra Prinsloo, in the drama Kamphoer; or the comedies Laerskool Noord, with Marion Holm, Margit Meyer-Rödenbeck, Ilne Fourie and Neels Coetzee; Reünie, written by Dana Snyman (with Frank Opperman); and Hans gee Herklaas horings (with Tobie Cronjé). Mirakel, one of the festival’s flagship productions, features Dawid Minnaar, Bettie Kemp and Edwin van der Walt and Rolanda Marais.

Tobie Cronjé.

While these plays take place at venues outside the festival grounds, there is an easy shuttle service to get you there and back from the main festival.

Also not to be missed is the free Praise Him Innibos concert on 2 July at nearby Church Unlimited, featuring Jo Black.

As always, a diverse programme of events has been planned, both at the festival grounds and at external venues. For the full festival programme and links to ticket sales, visit innibos.co.za.