Friendship and Solidarity Tour

Italy, 9 – 23 July 2019

The “Friendship and Solidarity Tour” in Italy of THE LIBERATION PROJECT celebrates, collectively, the 25th anniversary of democracy in South Africa, Mandela Month and the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. It is a unique vehicle for cementing cultural relations between South Africa and Italy, Cuba and India, respectively. The Tour is supported by the patronage of the Embassy of South Africa in Rome and has the support of the Embassies of Cuba and India in Rome and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The Tour is produced and organized by BPMCONCERTI.

THE LIBERATION PROJECT is a collective of international musicians of great artistic depth comprised of Phil Manzanera, N’Faly Kouyate, Cisco Bellotti, Roberto Formignani, Dan Chiorboli, Tebogo Sedumedi, Peter Djamba, Lindi Ngonele and Kabelo Seleke, respectively. A special guest will be Mrs Ruweida Soni.

The Embassy of South Africa in Rome has embarked on a unique, creative and fun loving way to celebrate Nelson Mandela Month in July 2019 in the form of providing support and patronage to an exciting series of “The Liberation Project” Concerts across Italy. In the concerts of the Liberation Project the artists will sing African Freedom Songs, Cuban Freedom Songs and Italian Partisan Songs to express our solidarity and friendship. Given the historic links that join them to the Liberation Project and their own struggles for freedom, this Project has also received the enthusiastic support of the Embassies of Cuba and India in Rome.

The concerts (12) will be held from 9 to 23 July 2019 in the following Italian cities: Ferrara, Rimini, Naples, Castelvolturno (CE), Genoa, Collegno (TO), Reggio Emilia, Milan, Bologna, Gubbio (PG), Rome and Fallo (CH). The Embassies of South Africa, Cuba and India are very grateful to the local authorities and the organizers in each concert venue, for their kind support for this impressive initiative, aimed at highlighting the fight for freedom by the respective citizens of their countries. The Embassies of South Africa, Cuba and India are most grateful to the local authorities and organisers in each venue for their kind support to this praiseworthy initiative, aimed at highlighting the strenuous efforts for freedom made by the citizens of their countries and to celebrate together in music and song.

In July every year, South Africa celebrates Nelson Mandela’s month. On the day of the birth of this global icon of peace, reconciliation and nation building, the 18th of July, which has been designated by the United Nations as International Nelson Mandela Day, people across the world dedicate 67 minutes of their time to a goodwill action. In doing so, people seek to make a difference in improving the lives of others by volunteering their services in memory of the 67 years of his life that Nelson Mandela fought for social justice.

This year, South Africa also celebrates a historically significant anniversary: South Africa is celebrating 25 years since South Africans achieved their freedom and the country transitioned triumphantly to democracy. South Africa has not travelled this difficult road alone: it was also thanks to the support of the Italian activists, the Italian Government, the Catholic Church and the business community that South Africans succeeded in their struggle for freedom. The importance of the Italian solidarity with the struggle and of the continued friendship between the two Countries, have been instrumental.

In recognition of ongoing potential for strengthened bilateral collaboration, for mutual benefit, the South African Embassy is working to build and strengthen partnerships between South Africa and Italy among organised and private business, educational and scientific institutions, civil society, provinces/regions, cities and, especially, community-based organizations.

Besides Italy, other countries have been helping South Africa to obtain freedom and democracy and particularly two should be mentioned, for the purpose of our communication: Cuba and India.

The strong and historic relations between South Africa and Cuba were forged in the common struggle against apartheid and colonialism on the African continent. The decisive victory of the Cuban People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) forces, fighting side by side with liberation forces against apartheid’s South African Defence Force at the battle of Cuito Canavale in southern Angola in 1988 paved the way for the independence of Namibia in 1990.

Cuba’s military engagement in Angola and victory at Vuito Cuanavale kept the former apartheid state in check, foiling its geopolitical strategies and contributing to its eventual defeat. Following South Africa’s democratic transition, South Africa and Cuba established formal diplomatic relations in 1994. Cultural and historical ties, as well as shared struggles and common aspirations, create the basis for a strong bond of solidarity between Cuba and South Africa and the continent of Africa.

India and South Africa have a fundamental and unique relationship, which is anchored by common ideals, values, interests and, even, global icons – like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. They have shared their struggles for freedom and the responsibility to improve the lives of others. Furthermore, South Africa was the crucible that forged Gandhi’s identity as a political activist and was an important precursor to his return to India, where he played a pivotal role in securing independence from British rule in August 1947. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gandhi.

The Liberation Project is a collective of musicians composed of a core band of 5 musicians from South Africa: – Dan Chiorboli – Tebogo Sedumedi – Peter Djamba – Kabelo Seleke – Lindi Ngonelo They are joined in this tour by the Italians: – Cisco Bellotti (ex Modena City Ramblers) – Roberto Formignani (The Bluesman) Finally there will be two important international musicians, one from the UK / Cuba and the other from Guinea: – Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music / Pink Floyd) – N’Faly Kouyate (Afro-Celt Sound System / Peter Gabriel). These last two have been the promoters of The Liberation Project since the beginning together with Dan Chiorboli. A special guest in some concerts will be Mrs Ruweida Soni.

The live set includes songs from the triple CD of The Liberation Project and focuses on South African, Italian and Cuban styles and rhythms. The live concert is a fusion of rock and world music, it is up-tempo, emotional and full of great musicality. In support of the show, where possible, there will be visuals that will add a visual dimension to the performance. The group is seen as being representative of South Africa and the bearer of a positive message of hope, reconciliation and celebration, and for this reason the tour was called “Friendship and Solidarity Tour”.

These are the stages of the tour:

09 JULY – FERRARA – Grisù Factory
Time: 9:30 pm free entry.

Every year, on the first Saturday of July, the whole world celebrates the International Day of Cooperatives, an anniversary promoted by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) and by the UN to celebrate the contribution of cooperation towards sustainable development and the construction of a society that is more equitable. Legacoop Estense, the association representing the cooperatives of Ferrara and Modena, together with its associates, have chosen to celebrate this important event by giving the city the Liberation Project concert: “an event of great cultural and social importance, able to transmit those values of justice, inclusion and civil coexistence that the cooperatives around the world defend every day”, says Legacoop Estense President Andrea Benini. The days before the concert, various initiatives will be organized in Ferrara, with the involvement of the artists and Ms Ndileka Mandela, who will add value to the calendar of this year’s programme in the region for the International Cooperatives Day.

10 JULY – RIMINI – Jova Beach Party @ Rimini Terme Beach.
A 30 minute performance by The Liberation Project at around 18.00, with an admission fee –

Jovanotti himself wanted to invite The Liberation Project to participate in his big event/concert for the summer of 2019. Friendship and Solidarity first of all.

12 JULY – NAPLES – Ethnos Festival Preview – Cortile del Maschio Angioino
Time: 9:00 pm, admission Euro 12,00.

Ethnos is an artistic-cultural event designed to promote the knowledge of the “cultures and arts of the world” and the enhancement of the cultural assets of the Vesuvian cities, enhancing their peculiarities and elements of attractiveness through the programming of shows and performances that cross popular cultures. Established in 1995, with the aim of recovering the popular traditions of the Vesuvius area, over the years the festival has expanded, becoming one of the major festivals in Campania, inviting great international artists for the first time in Campania, to perform in sites of historical-architectural interest not included in the traditional tourist circuit, promoting their rediscovery both locally and nationally. The concert in Naples is being held alongside the Universiade 2019, which will be held in Naples during that period.

13 JULY – CASTELVOLTURNO (CE) – Jova Beach Party @ Lido Fiore Fava Beach –
30 minute performance of The Liberation Project at around 18.00, with an admission fee –

Jovanotti himself wanted to invite The Liberation Project to participate in his big event/concert for the summer of 2019. Friendship and Solidarity first of all.

14 JULY – GENOA – Stradanuova Teatro Auditorium
Time: 9:00 pm – admission Euro 12,00 Euros (for charity) + presale

On 14 July 2019 The Liberation Project concert arrives in Genoa, and not by chance. A Genoa, which, with Christopher Columbus, is famous throughout the world, owes and above all wants to remember through music the 25 years of the liberation of South Africa. 25 years of relations between the country of Mandela and Cuba, which worked so hard for the restoration of freedom for the African country. And the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, who for over twenty years lived in South Africa, and there he developed the ideas for the liberation of India. This memory of conquered freedom passes through music, and Genoa is in this, the primary city. The National Anthem of Italy was born in Genoa, composed by the Genoese Mameli and Novaro. In Genoa, the tradition of musicians is extensive, from Nicolò Paganini to Renato de Barbieri (a renowned violinist and son in turn of the prized violin maker), to Paoli, to Bindi, to De Andrè, to Lauzi, to Tenco and the Counts. And where there is music, there is culture and in it the seeds of freedom, including the Partisans of Genoa of the Pertini, of the Bisagno and of the Taviani, from the times of the Balilla up to the uprisings of the 60s has always been primary. A live concert for everyone, not just for the Genoese. A concert to love and to share, because from South Africa to India, from Cuba to Italy, we are all children of this world. It is also for this reason that Genoa, in solidarity, which does not forget, one year after the collapse of the Ponte Morandi, those who continue to suffer. All profits will be donated to the families of the victims.

15 JULY – COLLEGNO (TO) – Courtyard of the Steam Laundry @ Flowers Festival – Parco della Certosa
Time: 9.30 pm – admission, Euro 15,00 + presale. The Flowers Festival is a music festival, now in its fourth edition, held in Collegno (To) in the Parco della Certosa, an urban park of 400,000 square meters. The show area, set up in the soundproof space known as the Laundry Courtyard, is enclosed by two of the great urban redesign experiences implemented by the City of Collegno: the Steam Laundry, excellence of international contemporary dance and Pavilion 14, a cultural center for the youth. The Festival therefore moves beyond entertainment and wants to contribute to the debate on social transformations that all the sectors of our daily life are going through, proposing artists who are questioning themselves through their work on how to build a new society, on what values are needed, which directions to take in future and which have been experienced in the past. A concert that sees the support of the non-profit association AIEA (Italian Association of Experts of Africa).

Info: Tel 011 3176636 –
Presales on:;;

18 JULY – REGGIO EMILIA – “Mandela Day” in Piazza Prampolini @ Mundus Festival
Time: 9:00 pm – free entry.
Mundus is a historic festival that has been held in various municipalities and provinces of Reggio Emilia for 24 years. The subtitle of the festival is “Languages of identity and difference” testifying to the spirit with which it was conceived in the 1980s, of openness to other cultures. The focus on distant countries is the common thread that in recent years has led the festival to present artists and musicians from all continents. Because only music, a universal language, can make people who seem far away familiar and approachable. Only music can really free everyone from prejudice. The city of Reggio Emilia and the resistance movement in South Africa have enjoyed a long and significant relationship. In the 1970s, the city actively participated in the promotion of the anti-apartheid movement abroad and in the support of struggle exiles such as Oliver Tambo and Anthony Mongalo. The city signed a solidarity pact with the African National Congress (ANC) in 1977. In 1978, Reggio Emilia hosted the national solidarity conference for the independence and sovereignty of the peoples of southern Africa against colonialism, racism and apartheid. In 1978 the Municipality of Reggio Emilia published Sechaba, the official ANC newsletter, in Italian and also published the first Italian edition of The Struggle is My Life, a collection of speeches and political writings by Nelson Mandela, in 1982.

On the occasion of the Second ANC National Consultative Conference, held in Zambia in 1985, the city of Reggio Emilia was declared “a constituted strength against the apartheid regime”, the only European city mentioned. From 1976 to 1991, Oliver Tambo corresponded with various Reggio officials, in particular with Giuseppe Soncini, regarding the granting of the city’s honorary citizenship in 1987 to Albertina Sisulu and Albert Luthuli.
Recognizing the great contribution of Reggio Emilia to the struggle against apartheid, Tambo wrote: “We always carry Reggio Emilia in our hearts; when we talk about Italy we cannot but think of Reggio Emilia. We are connected with deep attachment and immense gratitude which is difficult express in words”. A twinning agreement was signed in 2004 between Reggio Emilia and Polokwane. From then on, Reggio Emilia established institutional relations at the political, social, educational, cultural and historical levels, with South Africa, creating a stable relationship of collaboration and trust that has allowed them to extend their relationship to the economic level.This partnership also supports the internationalization of local businesses without neglecting the development and growth requirements of the African country.

19 JULY- MILAN – Parco Biblioteca degli Alberi

20 JULY- BOLOGNA – Botanique Festival
Time: 9.00 pm – free entry.

In Bologna, in the gardens of Via Filippo Re, for ten years, the summer festival of the Estragon Club has been held in a setting surrounded by greenery in the historic center! To celebrate the tenth anniversary, the festival offers great international events with a focus on world music from all continents and with a week dedicated to Africa during Mandela Month. –

21 JULY – GUBBIO (PG) – Roman Theatre
Time: 9.00 pm – admission Euro 10,00.

Gubbio is a charming medieval town that boasts the Colle Eletto cable car which leads to Monte Ingino, where the famous naval basilica of Sant’ Ubaldo is situated – with a splendid view of the Apennines. The concert forms part of a classical summer event in the area, currently in its 58th edition, which was founded in the early 60s by the local Tourist Board. In the early years, the event concentrated totally on both comic and tragic prose.
For more details, kindly consult:

22 JULY — ROME – Villa Ada – Rome meets the world,
Time: 9.00 pm, admission Euro 5,00

The Villa Ada concert in Rome promises to be a great celebration, which will also represent a significant milestone in the collaboration between the Embassies of South Africa, Cuba and India in Rome. “Nothing is known, everything is imagined”: from 15 June to 10 August 2019, Villa Ada Rome meets the world, under the aegis of Dada srl and ARCI Roma. Sixty days of concerts and two stages – the main stage and the “Mini Dada”, an area with free admission where emerging groups will perform every evening and wine and food events will be held. This is one of the main events of the Roman Summer and the longest running festival in Europe. In the evocative setting of the Villa Ada lake, concerts, debates, educational workshops, talks and presentations will alternate, characterizing the festival not only from a musical point of view, but making it a cultural and social reference point guided by keywords such as Innovation, Sharing Participation and Sustainability. A global concert that will include collaboration with MAIS Onlus and the high-profile participation of the Embassies of South Africa, Cuba and India in Rome. In particular, MAIS Onlus has provided for a pre-concert event that will take place in a dedicated area where it will be possible to enjoy an aperitif in the company of the musicians. As part of the package, the concert will include specially reserved seats + VIP lounge access + aperitif: 12 Euros. The NGO will allocate the entire proceeds to the South African Family Home, opened in 1998 by MAIS Onlus, in Johannesburg, which extends hospitality to orphaned and/or abandoned children.
For reservations and ticket collection contact MAIS 067886163 – 338 3616750: Presales –

23 – FALLO (CH) – Viale della Rimembranza
Time: 9.00 pm – free entry.

This concert, for the town of Fallo, is an opportunity to seal a relationship, with South Africa, which has lasted for many years. After the Second World War, many fallesi emigrated there and in South Africa they found fortune and built their lives, without ever forgetting their own country. Over the years, many politicians have honored the country with their presence through unofficial visits. A special highlight, in August 2018, was the awarding of the Honorary Citizenship of the town to the former President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe. All this was possible thanks to the constant commitment of Avv. Maurizio Mariano, a fallese born in South Africa and who maintains strong links to his origins.

The tour is organized and promoted by BPMCONCERTI, with the support and patronage of the Embassy of South Africa in Rome, the Embassy of Cuba in Rome and the Embassy of India in Rome.

For information and requests for interviews: (Nina)

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