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South African jive in a Mornington Peninsula setting
South African rhythms under the marquee on the lawn combined with kookaburras singing from the treetops at Flinders on Sunday night. Singer, songwriter and storyteller Valanga Khoza charmed and devastated his audience in turn with stories of his childhood in South Africa, accompanied by the music of his birthplace.
Starting with just a shijoro (jaw harp) then moving on to a kalimba (thumb piano) as musical accompaniment, we heard heartbreaking tales of the young Valanga growing up with his siblings in the care of his grandparents and only seeing his mother once a year when she could save up the money to visit. Gradually he was joined on stage by the members of his band: Andrea Khoza (voice, percussion), Fran Swinn (guitar), Chris Fangou (bass), Adrian Sherrif (trombone, shakuhachi) and Kofi Kunkpe (percussion, drums).
Kofi Kunkpe. Andrea Khoza, Valanga Khoza, Chris Fangou, Fran Swing, Adrian Sherrif
All that dancing is going to work up a thirst and the punters flocked to the bar between sets to top up on wines from local vineyards. You could tell the festival veterans by the quality of their picnic hampers and the calibre of their folding chairs. Eskis doubled as coffee tables and picnic rugs doubled as shawls as dusk closed in. Another superb summer evening in Flinders at festival time.