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.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Casual cool for Thanksgiving
Shop Lafayette goes strong
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.