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South Africa Diaries: Part 7 – Tina Turner!
by Expat Focus columnist, James King
Sea of change
The thought of leaving England for Durban in February, for the third time, to soak in the balmy Indian Ocean was pleasing enough. Equally exciting was the thought that I could be involved in some of the many changes that would envelope South Africa post-apartheid. For many years South Africans had been denied the chance to see their talented young athletes and sportsmen and women compete on the international stage. In 1970 South Africa had one of the finest Test Cricket teams ever and after drubbing Australia in the same year the cricket world would never see them in action again.
Similarly, the mega concerts and plethora of great musical talent never reached South African audiences until Paul Simon’s ground-breaking tour in 1992.
“In 1985, singer-songwriter Paul Simon made a controversial nine-day visit to South Africa—a visit that some felt was in violation of a United Nations cultural boycott, but a visit that dramatically increased worldwide awareness of black South Africa's rich musical traditions. Seven years later, with the U.N. boycott lifted, Simon returned to South Africa to play a historic concert in Johannesburg on January 11, 1992.” (See citation footnote)
There was another concert on that tour staged at King’s Park Stadium in Durban. I can’t recall how but somehow I got involved with the local concert administrators for the promoter Harvey Goldsmith and ended up with VIP access. Further concerts were staged at Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Gaborone (Botswana). I believe that, all in all, around 200,000 people attended the brilliantly staged events...
James King's story continues here.
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