Londoners can discover the best South African culture and sporting prowess in 2023, with music and art at the forefront. The highly-popular male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo is making a welcome return to the capital and will appear for one night only at the London Barbican Hall on the 18th of June.
The Barbican will also host the South African cellist Abel Selaocoe, who performed Ka Bohaleng / On The Sharp Side on Later with Jools Holland, this year. He will perform with the London Symphony Orchestra in A World of Possibilities – Duncan Ward & Abel Selaocoe on the 16th of November.
Experiencing South African culture
You don’t even need to visit London in person to get a taste of South African culture this year. Online exhibitions such as Social Fabric: African Textiles Today at the British Museum can be experienced virtually via Google Arts & Culture. The exhibition gives visitors the chance to view textiles celebrating South African statesmen such as Nelson Mandela.
The decision to offer online exhibitions and virtual tours reflects the increased use of the Internet as a convenient way to consume entertainment. It can be observed in the availability of South African culture on streaming services such as Netflix with nature documentaries such as Surviving Paradise: A Family Tale, which looks at wildlife in the Kalahari Desert and Shamwari Untamed, featuring conservation work at the Shamwari Private Game Reserve.
In the iGaming industry, for example, there has also been a shift towards virtual experiences. Players now have access to online casino real money games such as blackjack and roulette plus a wide variety of slot games from the comfort of their own homes. The prevalence of virtual experiences to complement in-person events comes as businesses recognise the importance of meeting customer demand.
South African art
If contemporary art is your thing, Everard Read London has a varied programme of exhibitions featuring oil paintings by South African artists. You can experience Hearth by Penelope Stutterheime from the 9th of June to the 8th of July and Thinking Out Loud by Lorienne Lotz from the 5th of May to the 3rd of June, plus the annual summer exhibition entitled Summer 2023, which showcases established artists alongside emerging South African artistic talent from the 14th of July to the 4th of September. The popularity of South African artists in the capital is exemplified by William Kentridge’s much-lauded exhibition of his artistic works at the Royal Academy last year.
A sporting highlight
The Springboks will take on the All Blacks at Twickenham on the 25th of August at 19:30 and although the game is a rugby test match as both sides prepare for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, it is sure to be an eagerly awaited clash of the titans. The Springbok Head Coach Jacques Nienaber said: “There is a large contingent of passionate ex-pats and Springbok supporters in London, and we have no doubt they will come out in numbers and give us a lift before we attempt to defend our World Cup crown.”
There is something for all lovers of South Africa in London this year. Whether you are a fan of South African music, art, culture or sport, you are sure to find what you are looking for in the capital in 2023.