Zulu Tradition are a vibrant group of young Zulus, who come from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and specialise in traditional song and dance.
Imagine a young mixed-gender Ladysmith Black Mambazo, with the raw power of a cappella voices and enchanting stories, plus pounding rhythms of African drums and high-energy dancing.
The young Zulus preserve ancient skills by rekindling Zulu culture and heritage, while simultaneously reaching forwards into contemporary Africa. You’ll recognise favourites such as ‘Shosholoza’, ‘Mbube’ (the original version of ‘Wimoweh’ or The Lion Sleeps tonight) and of course ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika’, the South African national anthem, which is not only in the Zulu language but also in Xhosa, Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English.
Traditional songs are presented alongside a range of contemporary songs influenced by Afro-Gospel, Afro-Jazz and Soul traditions, written (mostly) in Zulu and occasionally in English.
This heady mix of African harmonies is accompanied by athletic dance and drum-rhythms – and all in traditional costume. Their stage shows are exciting, enthralling and hugely entertaining: “Powerful traditional splendour of dance sequences accompanied by pulsating Zulu drums and glorious vocal harmonies. Guaranteed to hold any audience spellbound.”
Don’t worry if you don’t speak Zulu – the guys will always provide a translation!
The Zulu Tradition show is organised by Milkmaid Community Interest Company, who hope to raise awareness and funding for their Milkmaid Folk Arts Centre. The group will be turning disused buildings at Bury St Edmunds’ beautiful railway station into a community arts centre – a safe, welcoming and enjoyable place, where people with disabilities and other vulnerable or marginalised adults can feel a sense of belonging, and benefit from social interaction within a supportive community. The club will enable and encourage individuality, inclusion, self-esteem and creativity.
Terry Walden of Milkmaid CIC explains: “The Milkmaid’s whole ethos is to support vulnerable and disadvantaged people in trying to build a life that is both fulfilling and rewarding through the joy of music, art and performance.”
Zulu Tradition is performing at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday 3 June at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15, ring the box office on 01284 758000 or see the website www.theapex.co.uk for more details, or to book.