Umbiyozo

Umbiyozo will take you on a voyage around Cape Town to discover the timeless elements of African culture.

Umbiyozo was filmed and edited by Christine Shaw during the summer of 2011 in Cape Town, SA. The project was produced and founded by Jason Woolf.

Be inspired by this powerful and authentically performed compilation of traditional song and dance performances with melodies and choreography that have been passed down through many generations of South Africans. On this DVD, you will find these heroic, modern performances bringing you closer to learning about the beauty, mystery, power, tragedy, redemption and hope of some of the world’s most important cultures.

And all along your journey, you will be supporting a bright future for these children, their families, and their communities. African song and dance still plays an intrinsic role in connecting, nourishing, and protecting the young people of South Africa, and their heritage. And for you, it provides a window into the community’s energy, power and potential.

All 14 performing groups on this DVD are made up of school-aged children from challenging circumstances, growing up in the townships and squatter camps of Cape Town, South Africa. These townships labor under the all-to-common burdens of densely populated, urban centers all over the world — drugs, gangs, and crime. But shining through is the singing and dancing of these traditional performance groups, whose talent serves as an important outlet for these children, their families, and their communities. In addition, the performers aspire to showcase their talents, and in the process earn much needed supplemental income, and perhaps, long overdue educational and economic opportunities.

With this in mind, and with the support of the Amy Biehl Foundation, the Umbiyozo project was created. A key aspect of the project is that the beneficiaries learn to be self-sustaining and independent. Through the sales of this DVD, the performers will now be able to reach out to a larger audience all over the world. This creates an opportunity for the planet to learn, connect, and engage. It will also create new opportunities for the performers.

In order to ensure the success of the beneficiaries during this process—the performers—The Amy Biehl Foundation, one of the most respected non-profit organizations operating in Cape Town, will administer all proceeds.

On this DVD you will find a variety of traditional songs and dances, as performed by 14 groups, such as dances of Xhosa and Botswana roots, choral singing, marimbas, steel pans, gumboot dancing, and hand drumming on the djembe. You will be taken on an emotional journey starting at a mall in Khayelitsha, Cape Town’s largest township, and ending at the spectacular Signal Hill, overlooking Cape Town’s most beautiful landmarks.

-Jason Woolf

 

The groups, in the order that they appear on the DVD are:

Siyazama
Likhwezi
Masilandendulo
Masizakhe
Happy Feet
Buyelekhaya
Kwaze Kwasa
Afro Pan Groove
Siyakhanyisa
St. Paul’s Church
Buya Africa
Buyambo
Velekukhanya
Albert Luthuli Brothers