The Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival not only showcases art, design, film, poetry and music, it also provides inspirational workshops and entrepreneurial support programmes for young creatives. Basha Uhuru, the foremost urban, creative youth festival in South Africa, is brought to you by Constitution Hill in partnership with Nando’s, the Department of Arts and Culture, Brand SA, Gauteng Tourism, Gauteng Department Of Economic Development, Business Arts South Africa, Gauteng Film Commission and the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller. All events are free, aside from the concert. Tickets for that are R75 off and R100 at the festival gates. 

The festival ends on Saturday, 29th June with The Sounds Of Freedom concert starting at 13:00 and ending at 01:00 am that will feature hip hop, house, gqom, kwaito, amapiano and afro soul’s finest in the form of Riky Rick, Msaki, Langa Mavuso, Thebe, Khuli Chana, Mthuda & Njelik, DJ Kent, DJ Dimplez, The Brother Moves On, Urban Village, African Rhythm Productions, Ikati Esangweni, Coppashot & Bobotical, DJ Zero, Rosie Parade, Deniece Mars, Sistamatic, P Kuttah, Scott The Girl, Tha Muzik, Ace of Spades, DBN Gogo and FOSTA and The Charles Géne Suite.

The fine art programme, Expressions of Freedom, opens to the public on the 27th of June with two exhibitions that will close on the 31st of July. Both  will focus on young emerging artists from two major art collections. The Spier Arts Trust in Partnership with Constitution Hill will showcase an exhibition titled I See U, Imagining a Space for Freedom.

This exhibition brings together a selection of artworks from the Spier Arts Trust collection, which spans over 35 years and provides an insight both into our country’s past and our present.  Twenty-five years after the official ushering in of freedom, the Art Bank of South Africa marks Youth Month by curating the Homing in on Freedom exhibition, an exhibition of artworks by youth (18-35yrs), artists selected from the Art Bank of South Africa’s Contemporary Visual Art Collection. The works were chosen to highlight multi-layered themes of home, identity and expression that concern today’s young people. Artists showing include Lungisa Matubatuba; Qhama Maswana; Lebo Thoka ; Hannah Cornelius; Zwelinjani Radebe;  Thalente Khomo;Sifiso Samuel Gumede;  Banele Khoza ; Manyatsa Monyamane and Sthembiso Zwane.

The Basha Bacha Creative Summit on the 26, 27 & 28 June at The Women’s Jail from 09:00 – 16:00, is three days of design thinking and activism, inspirational workshops, enterprise support, networking, talks, pitching and other opportunities with creative innovators, business leaders, technologists and entrepreneurs. Basha Bacha Creative Uprisings aims to strengthen the creative economies greatest assets – people – to encourage collaboration, critical thinking and the ability to take a risk. 

This year at Basha Uhuru, Nando’s, led by their Creative Director, Tracy Lee-Lynch, will partner with the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) to host design talks, workshops and an industry pitch session  at Basha Bacha.  Also taking part are: Malibongwe Tyilo Associate Editor for Maverick Life, the Daily Maverick’s online Lifestyle Magazine; Thabisa Mjo of Mash.T Design studio won the Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search in 2015 for her Tutu 2.0 light, which went on to win the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa Award at the 2018 Design Indaba;  Nkuli Mlangeni,who  is a creative entrepreneur, dreamer, traveller and maker of things. She is the founder of The Ninevites; Mpho Vackierthe creative talent behind TheUrbanative, a contemporary African furniture and product design company in South Africa; Thokoza Mjo, an investment analyst who  founded Beyond the Lemonade Stand with the mission to partner with families in  developing a generation that believes they are capable of achieving their dreams.

 Thabisa, Nkuli, Mpho and Thokoza will be presenting a workshop on “Having a positive mindset”. Amaya Delmas is a French screenprinter and graphic designer based in Victoria Yards, Lorrentzville. After completing her Masters at Central St Martins, London, she worked in several advertising agencies in Paris.  Amaya will be running the stencil- and print-making workshop at Basha Bacha Creative Uprising creative conference. The best rhymes will be on show when talented poets gather at Words Of Freedom at The Women’s Jail on the 28th of May at 18:00. South African poetry witnessed a shift over the past two decades and a half, from only occupying journals into existing within the live entertainment realm. 

The line up will show this growth by showcasing a diverse array of talent in the poetry world today:  Makhafula Vilakazi; Dr Sarah Godsell;  Mutle Mothibe ; Nomashenge Dlamini ; Xabiso Vili;  Busisiwe Mahlangu; Sibulelo Manamatela;  Belita Andre; Masai Sepuru; Dillan Park; Prince Shapiro and Vus’umuzi Phakathi will perform.

Since 1994 movie making has flourished, and this will certainly be evident at Visions Of Freedom at Constitution Hill’s Women’s Jail on the 27th and 28th of June when five new South African films, from Rom-coms to period dramas and everything in between, will be shown. Screenings at 18:00 will be followed by discussions with actors and directors. Films include Norman Maake’s Love Lives Here which stars Thando Thabethe and Lungile Radu. Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s apartheid era Western starring Ezra Mabengeza,Sew the Winter to my Skin and An Act of Defiance about anti apartheid lawyer Bram Fischer will be watched too. The Khanyi Mbau and Aubrey Pooe vehicle Red Room will screen, as will Into Infinity that stars Thishiwe Ziqubu, Nandi Nyembe and Treasure Tshabalala.