Hailing from Soweto, the South African ensemble is compromised of the city's best talent, plucked from the choirs of Soweto's churches. The group has backed musical legends like U2, Queen, Peter Gabriel and the Eurythmics and performed for the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
The Performing Arts Society of Acadiana's Apiyo Obala says of the choir, "In addition to being entertainers, they are also global ambassadors for Nelson Mandela's 46664 Foundation, which was created specifically to raise awareness and money to fight against AIDS in Soweto. HIV & AIDS affect everyone globally, but the highest majority of people who are affected live in the Soweto township of South Africa."
Partnering with the Southwest Area Health Education Center and the Africa Diaspora Heritage Committee, PASA presents "Get Up, Do Something Day," a day to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and its effect on the Acadiana community. On Saturday, April 21, at Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette, there will be a community health fair, live entertainment featuring local artists as well as step teams from Northside and Comeaux high schools. The event will also feature a teen panel discussion with a focus on HIV/AIDS and other problems facing Acadiana's youth. Free and confidential HIV/AIDS testing will be also available on site, as well as 30 different community organizations. Obala says that since the hurricanes of 2005, Acadiana has seen a surge of new residents. "There's even more of a need now to educate and make people aware of the resources that are available to them within their community," she says.
But the day of events will do more than focus on just HIV awareness. "There's another ongoing theme of a cultural connection to Africa through music," Obala says. "It's going to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, but there's also going to be a music panel discussion that will include local artists like Marc Broussard and Roy Anthony. They're not only going to talk about African music and how it's influenced their music, they're going to also perform selections from their own repertoire that demonstrates what the panel's discussing. We just thought this would be a great way to expand what PASA normally does with its outreaches, like master classes and workshops. We do entertain, but another focus of ours is education and awareness. It was a chance to do something different but that has a direct impact on the health of our community."
The Performing Arts Society of Acadiana closes out its season with a live performance by the Soweto Gospel Choir at the Heymann Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, online at www.pasa-online.org, or by calling (337) 262-8686. "Get Up and Do Something Day" will be held Saturday, April 21, at Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette. For more information, call (337) 237-2787. The event will raise awareness about HIV/AIDS as well as African music and its influences on American music. The community health fair will also include panel discussions and offer free HIV/AIDS testing.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, March 06, 2014:
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
Saluting the red, white and blue — let freedom ring
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Feel the spectrum
Unless you work for an energy company, specific decisions related to the economics, risk, etc. are not conveyed to the public. They are a closely guarded secret.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
Lafayette native screenwriter returns
New standards curb elective induction