2011 Awards Ceremony
19 November 2011
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
The 2011 Freedom to Create Prize winners were announced at a vibrant awards ceremony and concert in Cape Town on 19 November 2011, at the stunning Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. The awards ceremony featured performances of soul stirring songs by The Gugulethu Tenors, Kwaito music by Namibian artist EeS and a spectacular concert by Senegalese superstar Baaba Maal. The ceremony was hosted by the award-winning South African television presenter Leanne Manas.
Freedom to Create holds its annual Prize celebrations in places where there is an established history of the transformational impact of art and culture. The cities of South Africa including Cape Town have a rich cultural heritage, and a complexity of issues that form part of the fascinating history of social change in South Africa. This made Cape Town a fitting choice as the place to celebrate the courage and creativity of the participants of the 2011 Freedom to Create Prize.
Freedom to Create donated the proceeds of tickets sales to the Music Therapy Community Clinic, a non-profit organisation that engages underprivileged and previously disadvantaged communities in Cape Town through music therapy.
Concert hosted by
Leanne is a multiple award-winning South African TV Presenter who has graced television screens for over a decade. Not many broadcasters can boast having had live TV experience, five days a week for 12 years. Leanne is currently the anchor of SABC 2's flagship breakfast programme Morning Live. She is also one of South Africa's top MC's and guest speakers.
The Gugulethu Tenors
Described as "South Africa's II Divo", "Pavarotti's Children" and "the Diamond of the Township", the Gugulethu Tenors enchant the concert halls of South Africa with their collective song. While their peers enjoy Kwaito, Hip Hop and Rap, the Gugulethu Tenors pursue their inherent love of Opera, a genre which is not traditionally associated with the township. By incorporating contemporary and subtle ethnic elements in their music, they have made the genre their own, capturing the hearts of audiences across South Africa with their raw talent.
Eric Sell a.k.a. EeS
Namibian superstar Eric Sell, has shaken the African music industry with Kwaito music. His lyrics speak out against social injustice and call for inter-racial understanding. He hopes his music will reach a large audience around the world and inspire them to eradicate social injustice and conflict. EeS says, "We as artists do not have the power to rule the political systems directly, but we do have the power to get our messages out to the world, and by that start to unite people and strive for a certain cause, like ending the wars and violence."
Baaba Maal is an internationally renowned World music star. He formed the group Dande Lenol - literally meaning, "The Voice of the People" - and began creating his highly distinctive sound combining traditional African music with elements of pop and reggae. In 1988 he produced the album 'Wango', the first in a series of highly acclaimed albums, his next album in 1992 was 'Lam Toro' and then in 1994's 'Firin' in Fouta'. Aside from being a remarkable musician, Baaba is socially conscious and represents the United Nations Development Program as a spokesman on the issue of HIV/AIDS in Africa.