12 Sep 2011

South African townships link with South Wales communities to perform stunning arts project

Mzansi Cymru dancersValley Kids – a community regeneration charity based in Rhondda Cynon Taff – is looking to raise £150,000 to help fund an exciting cultural exchange between disadvantaged communities in Wales and South Africa.

Although those taking part are some 6,000 miles apart, they are collaborating on an arts performance that will take centre stage of the Wales Cultural Olympiad being held before the London Olympics in 2012.

Mzansi Cymru (which translates as South Africa - Wales) is a major arts project spearheaded by Valleys Kids linking disadvantaged people and communities of the South Wales Valleys and the Townships of Cape Town, South Africa.

This spectacular multi-media production is inspired by the events of 1964 in South Africa. At the same time as the iconic movie Zulu was being filmed in Natal, Nelson Mandela was sentenced for treason and transported to Robben Island.

‘We are creating an epic piece of musical theatre that revolves around the story of a young Welsh boy and a Zulu girl,’ said Densie Lord, development co-ordinator at Valley Kids.

‘They meet on the film set of Zulu and fall in love but are torn apart by unforgiving laws of the apartheid. The story will follow their lives in the succeeding forty-odd years until the final unravelling of their story at the London Olympics in 2012.’

Community and arts organisations in both hemispheres are currently working on their separate parts of one story. They will then come together next year to perform Mzansi Cymru in Cardiff Millennium Centre.

‘By working together on a creative project, we aim to tackle issues around global harmony and gender equality by proactively involving young people in exploring and sharing their Welsh and African culture and sense of identity,’ said Denise.

For more information visit: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/valleyskids

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