South African Cultural Observatory

Soweto String Quartet - Umtiza Arts Festival

31 MAY 2019 - 31 MAY 2019
Category: Music
Region: Eastern Cape
Town: East London
Cover Charge: R160
Contact Details:
57166133_489536141581942_7154399136895205376_n (00000002)

57166133_489536141581942_7154399136895205376_n (00000002)

The Suite for the South Africa we deserve live at the Guild Theatre East London at the 2019 Umtiza Arts Festival.

Formed in 1978 with its origins in Soweto, SSQ remains one of South Africa’s enduring groups of cultural ambassadors who have flown the national flag proudly to stages across the globe. Famous for their attire which resembles one of South Africa’s big 5, the zebra, not only do they have jaw-dropping anecdotes about the evolution of the identity of our young nation, but their adventures include trips abroad in the presidential jet with our first head of state, Tat’uNelson Mandela.
The sound is fresh, vibrant and funky, not what you’d expect from a string quartet, but a sound that the SSQ delivers with panache and enthusiasm. Some puritans would say: “You’re not supposed to grin from ear to ear and tap your foot to the music!” Nelson Mandela allegedly played their CD in his office all the time. His assistant is reported as saying: “The old man loves it!”
Very few musicians are capable of producing sounds that are loved by all ages and get the whole family dancing. The Umtiza Arts Festival which is one East London’s family-centred cultural extravaganzas provides a dynamic audience wherein SSQ will feel right at home. As carriers and guardians of South Africa’s multicultural identity, SSQ are best placed to take the whole family on a time lapse from the dark past into the dawn of our democracy, through the complexities of the present and looking further afield into the imaginary of the South Africa we deserve.
This is a chance for the whole family to be in touch with our past, present and future in real time, through story-telling, dance, singing, clapping and finger snapping. This is a musical celebration of a society embarking on a just transition. On the 2nd of March SSQ performed with Lori Rothman at Woedfees 2019 at Spier Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch. An award ceremony that took place on April 4 saw nominees who performed at the festival walk away with various awards. It was here that SSQ scooped the award for best contemporary music by popular votes. On the 24th of March SSQ brought their magic to the Klein Karoo Arts Festival in Oudsthoorn and on 26th April their calendar will see them at the Artscape Music Festival with Anton Goosen, Lynnel Kenned, Sonja Herholdt and Early B.
On the 31st May 2019 East London will also share in the spoils of the preservation of this uniquely and proudly South African music with songs like Khwela and Mbube from the bows and strings of these fathers of our nation. The programme will include performances, workshops, family photos, autographs and lots of anecdotes from the wonderful travels of this distinguished ensemble. Blurring the lines between the binaries of genres such as classical and jazz, the SSQ songbook has something for everyone. And this time they will remind us once again of the beautiful country we inhabit and inspire us to remain committed to the pursuit of that South Africa we all deserve.



Venue Name: The Guild Theatre
Street Address:

More News
 Malawi University of Science and Technology Visits Nelson Mandela University and SACO Malawi University of Science and Technology Visits Nelson Mandela University and SACO

The SA Cultural Observatory hosted a delegation from Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), led by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Address Mauakowa Malata.

SA Cultural Observatory Congratulates Minister Mthethwa on his appointment to the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture SA Cultural Observatory Congratulates Minister Mthethwa on his appointment to the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture

The team at the South African Cultural Observatory wishes to extend their sincere congratulations to Mr Nathi Mthethwa as the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture.

Congratulations Minister Nathi Mthethwa Congratulations Minister Nathi Mthethwa

Minister Nathi Mthethwa, once again you have been called upon to show responsibility and determine the future of South Africa' Sports, Arts & Culture. You have been called upon to heed a clarion call once made by our legendary Moses Kotane, 'that the future of South Africa is in our hands, and it will be what we make of it.'

Blacks Only - Cabinet Reshuffle Blacks Only - Cabinet Reshuffle

Things are about to get funny! Blacks Only Comedy Show is no stranger to edgy topics and close to the bone humour and promises not to disappoint.


South Africa continues to affirm the government’s commitment to advancing the African agenda and to strengthening ties between South Africa and its neighbours. The country is set to inaugurate its fifth democratically elected President on Saturday, 25 May 2019 at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in the City of Tshwane.

Connect with us