On 16 June 1976, what started out as peaceful protest in the streets of Soweto by students standing up against an oppressive regime, ended with bloodshed and incarceration of young people at Number Four – what used to be Johannesburg’s nefarious prisons, which is presently known as Constitution Hill, a national heritage site. 41 years later, Constitution Hill, in partnership with Nando’s and the Department of Arts & Culture, commemorates the spirit of the students of 1976 with the annual Basha Uhuru Freedom Fest.
The festival is a celebration and expression of artistic wealth among the youth of South Africa. As we approach the 21st Anniversary of the signing of the constitution, it is important that we reflect on this key milestone in the history of South Africa, how far we have come as a nation and most importantly where we are.
Now in its 5th year, the Basha Uhuru Freedom Fest is focused on empowering youth in creative industries by affording them platforms for freedom of artistic expression. The event will feature a 5 day programme which entails a contemporary group art exhibition titled Expressions of Freedom; Conversations of Freedom creative talks, Visions of Freedom is a film screenings sponsored by the Gauteng Film Commission and Rides of Freedom youth cycling tour which will link up various youth cultural hubs in the city. All these activities lead up to main attraction of the festival which is the Sounds of Freedom music concert featuring a diverse line-up of both emerging and established musical talent from across the country. The Locrate Family Picnic will be a fusion of food, fashion, and craft – providing trading opportunities for small businesses and micro-sized enterprises.
The music concert, funded and made possible by the Department of Arts & Culture and Nando’s, is set for the 24th of June and will be staged in two different venues within the Constitution Hill museum precinct. The main stage will feature a musical blend of contemporary South African musicians including live performances and DJs which will entertain the youth as they salute the youth of 1976 and celebrate the 21 years of the constitution and the second stage will be hosted by AFROPUNK who will be hosting the African edition of this influential international festival at Constitution Hill on the 30th and 31st of December.

It’s a free concert but tickets must be attained to gain entrance at
Conversations of Freedom : Creative Talks by
Date: Wednesday 21 June 2017

Time: 18h00-21h00

Speakers: artist Anthea Moys; Tumelo Kgwathe AKA DJ Sistamtic; artist Lazi Mathebula; architectLorenzo Nassimbei, stylist Lufuno Sathekge, comedian Loyiso Madinga, photographer Kgomotso Tleane; director Zandi Tisani

Venue: Constitution Hill, Women’s Gaol

Expressions of Freedom : Art Exhibition

Date: Thursday 22 June 2017

Time: 18h00-21h00

Artists: Nompumelelo Tshabalala, Zanele Mashinini, Bambo Sibiya, Victor Dlamini; Lazi “Greiispaces” Mathebula, Leeroy Jason and Anthea Moys

Venue: Constitution Hill, Women’s Gaol

Visions of Freedom: Film Screenings

Date: 23 June 2017

Time: 18h00-22h00

Movies: Kalushi, The Hangman; Beyond The River and Uprize

Venues: Constitution Hill, Women’s Gaol
Rides of Freedom: Heritage Cycling Tour
Date: 24 June 2017

Time: 09h00 – 13h00

Venue: Constitution Hill at Fixin Diaries

Sounds of Freedom: Market @ The Fort & Basha Uhuru Music Concert

Date: 24 June 2017

Time: 12h00-00h00

Artists & DJs: Thandiswa Mazwai ; Stogie T; Zola; Sjava; BCUC; Gigi Lamayne ; Dope Saint Jude; Kly ;Ms Cosmo; DJSpeedsta; IAMPH; Twins On Decks; DJKenzhero; 2Lee Stark; Uno July ; Johnny Cradle ; Urban Village ; Melo B Jones; Bye Beneco; Mpho Sebina; DJ Coppashot & Bobotical; Rosie Parade ; Andrew the DJ ; Danger Ingozi ; King B ;DJ Zero; Osmic; Rhythm Sessions; Tha Muzik; Sistamatik ; Yugen Blakrok; Mvette Black; DJ Zwai; DBN Gogo; Chuck Taylored;

Venue: Constitution Square/Marshalling Yard/Parade Ground (Various venues at Constitution Hill)

Let’s Get Free: AFROPUNK Stage

Date: Saturday 24 June 2017

Time: 16:00 – 22:45

Artists & DJs: DOOKOOM; Demogoroth Satanum; Radio123; TCIYF; DJ Doowap
Venue: Marshalling Yard

Locrate Family Picnic & Comedy

Date: Sunday 25 June 2017

Time: 11h00-17h00

Comedians: Mashabela and Mpho Popps.

Music: Nonku Phiri, Thandi Ntuli and Sound Supreme DJs: Just Themba, Kenzhero, Tha Music & Rhythm Sessions

Venue: Constitution Hill, Women’s Gaol Courtyard Lawns

Between 12h00 and 16h00 on Saturday and Sunday art and design installations alongside the stages will showcase PERi-hot South African creativity live in action!

Nando’s is a passionate believer in nurturing South African creative talent, and known for cheekily exercising their youthful creative freedom in their advertising campaigns. Basha Uhuru Freedom Fest is an incredible opportunity to not only support and freely share South African creative talent with a diverse audience, but also to celebrate Nando’s fiery belief in freedom of expression in South Africa.

A broad range of artists will bring their unique voices to this creative fest. Nando’s brings Dope Saint Jude and Gigi LaMayne (both collaborators in Nando’s Music Exchange progamme) as well as Nonku Phiri to the stage. Alongside, artist Dion Cupido will create a mega-sized graffiti-style artwork that will subsequently be installed outside Nando’s Bryanston.

Nando’s Hot Young Designers Tulsha Booysen and Candice Lawrence will collaboratively design and make incredible new lights with an authentic South African aesthetic alongside the live performances! Nando’s Creative Collisions Treasure hunt takes visitor through a Creative Collision experience with a chance to win surprise prizes and to enter the lucky draw to win an original artwork by Xolile Mtakatya!
Jo’burg is certainly the culture capital of the country, if not the continent. The creative energy is electrifying and the vibrant, dynamic and ever-evolving culture is one that cannot be found in any other city in SA. Through its diverse arts, culture and heritage programme, Basha Uhuru Freedom Fest seeks to address the social and economic divide which was left behind by the legacy of apartheid by implementing community programmes that are socially and economically inclusive. Although a lot has been done by the city to eradicate inequality and creating opportunities for economic development, there are still many opportunities for creative industries to grow and contribute valuably to the economy of the city and to community development. Basha Uhuru Freedom Fest seeks to implement arts, culture and heritage programmes aligned with the Vision 2030 aimed at urban regeneration, community development, eradicating poverty, improving township economies through creative hubs and reindustrialising the economy through the improvement of creative industries.
In further celebration of Youth Month, Constitution Hill will be providing complimentary tours to all young people between the ages of 18 and 35 on June 16. Constitution Hill has also introduced new tour offerings which showcase the art collection of the Constitutional Court, including temporary and permanent art exhibitions of the museum.
We encourage the youth to visit the historical prison complex where the youth of 1976 were incarcerated and also to experience South Africa’s transition from a turbulent past to a democratic nation.

Basha Uhuru Freedom Fest is supported by Nando’s; Department Of Arts and Culture; JoBurg Tourism Company; Gauteng Film Commission; Gauteng Tourism Authority; AFROPUNK; Tshepo 1 Million; Brand SA


CREATIVE TALKS Conversations of Freedom : Wednesday 21 June 2017. 18: 00.Women’s Gaol
This opening event brings together a collection of creative minds at the Basha Bacha talks program. The event will follow a PechaKucha type format with 12 inspirational speakers speaking to 20 slides which are shown for 20 seconds each. This format, keeps the presentations concise and fast-paced. The evening of talks brings together a line-up of powerful creative tastemakers and culture-defining people. From artists, to designers and from stylists to photographers, the evening of talks aims to share stories from the journeys of creative practitioners, hoping to inspire a younger generation to better their craft and up their creative game. We’ll hear from the creative director of the Basha Uhuru festival Lazi Greiispaces Mathebula, as well as architect and spatial designer Lorenzo Nassimbeni. Powerful DJ Sistamatik will share her story alongside celebrity stylist and entrepreneur Lufuno Sathekge. The evening promises to bring together a wide variety of backgrounds in the creative industry and show young creative talent how to grow their careers in the field.

This programme curated by Between 10 & 5 is open to a maximum of 100 young creatives. Booking is essential

ART: Expressions of Freedom: Thursday 22 June 2017. 18h00-21h00. Woman’s Goal

Artists: Nompumelelo Tshabalala, Zanele Mashinini, Bambo Sibiya, Victor Dlamini; Lazi “Greiispaces” Mathebula, Leeroy Jason and Anthea Moys

Venue: Constitution Hill, Women’s Gaol

The Expressions of Freedom will see a number of visual and performance art pieces showcased. It will also include a site specific performance piece called Run Your Art Out buy Anthea Moys.

Lee-Roy Jason is a South African photographer and avid traveler, with a natural instinct for visually telling and artistically documenting (South) African stories. When he is not working on corporate projects, Lee-Roy concentrates on his own personal work and style of photography. His work includes a documentary on land reforms in South Africa, Illegal mining, Family Portraits to restore the family values, Gender abuse, Transgender stories, children of our future, Feesmustfall and untitled story of religion. The love Photography started when he picked up an old discarded camera his father gave him from covering the Rwanda Genocide. Since then he has never put the camera down. Covering everything from school events to graduating to being the youngest Sowetan Photographer at 16. Photographing Back-Page-Babe. Years later with almost 10years of professional photography experience under his belt Lee-Roy’s solo exhibition shows our societal ills that still keep us trapped in our past. Issues like the war on women, living a Genderless society, freeing our Schooling systems and ridding us from Corruption that has been his journey photographically for the past 3 years.


From #RhodesMustFall, #FeesMustFall and #GenderMustFall, to the current campaign of #ZumaMustFall, the pursuit of freedom has now come with a hashtag. With every social media post it pounds at the forces who play with our freedom like tic tack toe. The usage of the hashtag is breaking the constraints of gender equality, correcting the wrongs of our past and is the symbol that denounces the ills of our present society. This symbol is used to consciencetise our future. In our history Books the # will be remembered as the symbol that stood for transformation in South Africa. Lee-Roy Jason’s photographic body of work titled #EverythingMustFall documents the power of the hashtag and how it has revolutionised digital media and youth.


The New Black is a contemporary group exhibition showcasing work by young emerging artists. The exhibition seeks to engage with the role of Western cultural agency in formulating and moulding the black narrative and its place in the historical canon. The exhibition serves to destabilise that hegemonic centre whose voice orates the past, present and futures of minority cultural groups globally. The New Black is also a reimagining of blackness and reclaiming of artistic agency within the dynamic and constantly changing notion of an African identity. The exhibition aims to critique the Western predisposition of ascribing tribal rituals, myths and songs to African knowledge and encouraging the perception that takes the obscurantist African practices as that which should be at the core of African epistemology.


Basha Uhuru Freedom Fest, Constitution Hill’s signature youth festival, celebrates its 5th year anniversary. Since its inception in 2013, the public has been captivated by the animated and vibrant artistic illustrations designed by the young and inspiring Lazi “Greiispaces” Mathebula. Inspired by his childhood in Joburg’s Alexandra, Lazi is turning perceptions of township art on its head. His sketches of everyday subject matter, including everything from shoes to street dogs, are vibrantly transformed by neon dashes and patterned etchings when they get to his computer. His unique style has led him to collaborations with everyone from Nike to local brand Supreme Being and he has also been featured as one of the Design Indaba’s emerging creatives.

Basha Uhuru: A Retrospect, takes a leap back into time and explores five years of the magical illustrations that has popularised the youth festival to the trendy urban culture brand that it has become.

FILM: Visions of Freedom: Film Screenings. 23 June 2017. 18h00-22h00. Women’s Gaol

Four new South African Films will be shown at the festival. Postscreening discussion with actors and directors will take place following the screenings
UPRIZE! On the morning of 16 June 1976, a group of school children in Soweto gathered peacefully to protest the mandatory inclusion of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction. By nightfall over 200 of them lay dead, mowed down by Apartheid armed forces. Forty years later, this film looks at the world that made these kids, and how in the absence of political leadership, they stood up to the might of an oppressive state.

Speaking to artists, writers, musicians, teachers that inspired them, and some of the former student leaders themselves, we get a glimpse into 1970s South Africa and the cost of the fight for quality education and freedom. Especially relevant forty years later as university students once again take to the streets to fight the post apartheid government on the issue of free quality education.


Two men from vastly different walks of life have one thing in common: to win gold in the most arduous canoe marathon. But there are a few things in their way. One has a marriage on the verge of collapse. The other is on the run from the law, and his so-called life. Then there’s the minor detail of them never before having competed as a team…


Kalushi is the true story about 19-year-old hawker, Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu (Thabo Rametsi), from Mamelodi, a township outside Pretoria. He is brutally beaten by police. Kalushi goes into exile following the 1976 Soweto uprisings to join the liberation movement. He returns from military training in Angola but en route to their mission, his friend and comrade, Mondi(Thabo Malema), loses control and shoots two innocent people on Goch Street in Johannesburg. Mondi is severely beaten and tortured; Kalushi is forced to stand trial under the common purpose doctrine. The state seeks the highest punishment from the court, death by hanging. Kalushi has his back against the wall and uses the courtroom as a final battlefield. His sacrifice immortalises him into a hero of the struggle and an international icon of June 16, 1976.


When the truth of his Father’s disappearance is brought to the surface on the eve of his execution, Khetha, a prison warder working in the Gallows death-row prison in Pretoria South Africa 1989 must either choose forgiveness or live forever with regret of failing to accept the truth.

CYCLING: Rides of Freedom. 24 June 2017. 09h00 – 13h00. Constitution Hill at Fixin Diaries
This ride has been tailored for the Basha Uhuru Freedom Fest by Hussain van Roos of Fixin Diaries. Participants are given 10 Basha Uhuru single entry wrist bands to the festival. The social bikers task is for each participant to Call Up 10 strangers each to come to the festival as they proceed along the cycle route. The route will start from the Fixin Diaries store in front of the court and cover Braamfontein Neighbourhoods Market; Newtown and Maboneng before returning to Constitution Hill.


Hussain Van Roos is a Creative Director, Brand Consultant, Social Entrepreneur and a co-founder at ‘Fixin Diaries’. At Fixin Diaries, they custom make fixie bikes (from scratch), that’s the product offering, the bigger thing is they have literally influenced cycling as a trend over the past 5 years in the mass market, where this did not exist, essentially they are culture influencers, they have worked with brands, on festivals + custom campaigns in building their brand. On the other hand, he is the current brand ambassador at Ben Sherman (most likely their first brand ambassador in Africa), he has been involved in driving on the ground campaigns, Creative Direction, building brand growth + unique content creation for the brand, he recently launched the ‘I AM Hussain’ campaign, which is a personal storytelling drive on himself, where he comes from, who has influenced him in his life in being a ‘Gentleman’ in collaboration with Ben Sherman + profiling a selected few of other individuals who fit the brand persona + the era of the ‘modern gentleman’.
MUSIC & MARKET: Sounds of Freedom: Market @ The Fort & Basha Uhuru Music Concert. 24 June 2017: 12h00-00h00.Constitution Square/Marshalling Yard/Parade Ground (Various venues at Constitution Hill)

Artists & DJs: Thandiswa Mazwai ; Stogie T; Zola; Sjava; BCUC; Gigi Lamayne ; Dope Saint Jude; Kly ;Ms Cosmo; DJSpeedsta; IAMPH; Twins On Decks; DJKenzhero; 2Lee Stark; Uno July ; Johnny Cradle ; Urban Village ; Melo B Jones; Bye Beneco; Mpho Sebina; DJ Coppashot & Bobotical; Rosie Parade ; Andrew the DJ ; Danger Ingozi ; King B ;DJ Zero; Osmic; Rhythm Sessions; Tha Muzik; Sistamatik ; Yugen Blakrok; Mvette Black; DJ Zwai; DBN Gogo; Chuck Taylored;

Let’s Get Free: AFROPUNK Stage: DOOKOOM; Demogoroth Satanum; Radio123; TCIYF; DJ Doowap

ART: Dion Cupido live mural creation DESIGN: Nando’s will create an installation Featuring HYD2016 winners Tulsha Booysen and Candice Lawrence in the Women’s Gaol


Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search saw two local creatives sharing first place for their lighting designs. The competition brief was to design an African-inspired pendant light with a contemporary edge. Each of the winners received an order to produce 50 lights that will be installed in Nando’s restaurants across the globe. HYD2016 winners Tulsha Booysen and Candice Lawrence will collaborate over the festival to great a new african inspired light pendant.


Dion Cupido is largely self-taught and has come a long way from being a teenager doing graffiti on walls in the Cape Flats to the respected artist that he is today. He discovered his ability to paint in 1990 while helping a friend with a school project. Today it is clear that his studio-produced paintings still are deeply influenced by street art – so much so that it can be seen as another form of tagging. An important realisation for him at the time was that his work also triggers certain thoughts and memories. “I realised that our biased memories do more than simply present us with images of our personal history. It also shapes our sense of who and what we are. In doing so, it guides us to forming an opinion about ourselves that may not be very accurate. As a result it does little more than helping us experience life only as we THINK we know it

PICNIC: Locrate Family Picnic & Comedy: Sunday 25 June 2017: Time: 11h00-17h00. Women’s Gaol Courtyard Lawns

Sifiso Dlangamanda & Kgosi Rampa are the creative entrepreneurs who established the Locrate Market in Soweto. The idea behind the market is to create an environment where young and aspiring entrepreneurs, creators and innovators could showcase and sell their products, meet other like-minded people, validate new ideas, get tips from established brands, create connections and get the necessary exposure to take their business further . They recently branched out into family oriented events themed around picnic baskets and wine, happening at different locations around Gauteng.
Comedians: Mashabela and Mpho Popps.

Music: Nonku Phiri, Thandi Ntuli and Sound Supreme DJs: Just Themba, Kenzhero, Tha Music & Rhythm Sessions

A family picnic centred around comedy and great music that evokes your best moments recent and old. A generational picnic that celebrates all the different variations of family . Live music and comedy What better way to close the festival.

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