CREDITS : Many friends of liberation and music have made this event possible. Kultur Im Ghetto Jürgen Leinhos and Elisabeth Ehrhorn of Kultur im Ghetto, Sausage Film Company Struan Douglas and Vusi Mchunu. Independent experts Professor Peggy Luswazi. Governance bodies – Eastern Cape Development Corporation, Buffalo City Metropolitan Tourism. German Embassy in Pretoria, South African Embassy in Berlin. An opportunity for thanks and celebration. This creative confluence continues to bring this profound cross-fertislisation into audience development, economic stimulus and education syllabus, particularly for the future generations.
Kultur im Ghetto in Frankfurt, Germany partnered with Sausage Films to bring the legacy of Dyani home to Buffalo City in 2022. 36 years in the making. This concert was a first for South Africa, the Eastern Cape and his home community of Duncan Village and raised the important questions – are the future generations ready to hear he musical heroes of their past and what and what knowledge and wisdom will exposure to these cultural roots bring forward?
The Buffalo City Homecoming of 2022 provided the return of Jazz Against Apartheid and the legacy of musical prodigy Johnny Dyani to his roots in the Eastern Cape. For the first time ever “old” fighters for elementary freedoms through jazz were united with new and future generations.
“What is really important? What really matters?” These questions pop up arise when difficulties arise. The answers JAA Homecoming gave was sharing the vitality of this music, promoting the existence of the forgotten exile (and exiled) art of Johnny Dyani – as one artist among others who was forced to leave the country; and inciting honor and pride for what artists like him fought for and achieved abroad while others, remaining in South Africa, struggled to free themselves from apartheid. Keeping in mind that the fight against apartheid was a shared fight: fought in many different areas, with many different people but with one objective: to end the terror of overall injustice caused by apartheid rule.
Co-operation and Employment Stimulus
At the age of 82, a tireless Leinhos partnered with Sausage Film Company in Johannesburg to make this dream a reality. A powerful international co-operation began to take shape and the Buffalo City Homecoming Tour was born in 2022.
The sound, the output created is a unique and living music, somehow ingrained into the living memory of this composer and is a dynamic archive, and knowledge source for future generations that remains highly relevant to this day.
In Europe, Johnny Dyani from Eastern Cape was chosen as founding band leader of JAA in 1986 due to his uniqueness of character. He was at the centre of a movement that included many musicians from all over South Africa.
Jazz Against Apartheid is specifically a movement for change against the Apartheid regime of South Africa. Apartheid was defeated in 1994. In 2024 South Africa will celebrate 30 years of democracy. The legacy is of our freedom warriors who used their musical instruments, their voices and art to bring change.
The MC of the JAA Homecoming event, told the audience at the workshop that Johnny Dyani was born in Duncan Village and therefore that “he was one of us” there was a huge sigh of astonishment… “One of us?” this sigh signalled – “Are you sure? One of us who left the country, fought against apartheid from abroad, and got other people involved who fought with him and supported his cause – and then, to top it all – came back spiritually with his music and colleagues playing his music, keeping alive the memory and rich cultural roots of his South African home?” These sighs, not just one, but several, were sighs of pride, wonder and astonishment – and joy to be part of this amazing story right there and then.