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by on November 28, 2008




The project began in October with chance recordings of the songs and stories of a group of 47 refugees (mainly from DRC) ‘stranded’ under plastic cover in Albert Park in the aftermath of the xenophobic attacks in Durban in May 2008. After suffering yet another attack of metro police/municipal brutality on 1st November, the group dispersed, about half of the group, mainly women and children fled to Botswana to a UNHCR camp, the where-about of the others is uncertain. (above image was taken by one of the refugees Delphin Mmbibya). (interview) (more songs) (metro police sings) (an imbiso)  (Bekin’s questions) (Bekin’s songs)


BULWER PARK                         
Rene came to Durban 3 month ago from the DRC. His song in honour of assassinated journalists was broadcast on several radio stations in the Congo. It earned him the respect of many people, and threatening phone calls from a few. He sings the song for us and tells the story.                                   
please note: Rene Tshiakanyi donated these ‘field-recordings’ of his song to the DURBAN SINGS project; the copyright of the music however remains with the artist. ©Rene Tshiakanyi



University of KwaZulu-Natal

Mavuso Dingani is a young writer. He writes the stories of people he encounters in the streets of Durban where he lives now. He is working on a film – “Silenced Voices” – about Zimbabweans in Durban. Mavuso himself comes from Zimbabwe. The clips presented here are preparatory takes for a voice-over to “Silenced Voices”. The clips are not ‘cleaned up’ yet. instead they feature the thinking searching voice of the young film-maker. It’s work in progress. Mavuso kindly donated these recordings and documents of his on-going work to the DURBAN SINGS project.


In his film, Mavuso actually re-mixed a song from the DURBAN SINGS archive – Becken’s song, one of the DRC refugees at Albert Park – as sound track for his trailor. Becken’s song can be found at:


For further information on “Silences Voices”  and up-dates on Mavuso’s work you may visit:,61,3,1677




INTRODUCTORY AUDIO WORKSHOPS in four Durban townships November-December 2008











ibutholondonzima (warriors of philosophers)

an interview about a group of poets form Mzinyathi, Durban, South Africa. Msai supports the young poets and tells why he likes what they do. December 2008  (5 mins)













ubuntu babasha

a playlist of audio reports, songs and interviews recorded, produced and edited by Ubuntu Babasha (young people) of Clermont, Durban, South Africa.

November/December 2008   (part I)   (part II)               

(playlist total: 35 mins)                                                              (blog for updates and response)











imisebenzi yentsha

a playlist of audio reports, songs, poems and interviews recorded, produced and edited by Imisebenzi Yentsha (young people) of Folweni Township, Umbumbulu district, Durban, South Africa.

November/December 2008  (playlist 18 mins)











youth in action

an audio playlist of audio reports, songs, interviews and a movie  recorded, produced and edited by Youth in Action of Inanda Newtown A, Durban, South Africa. November/December 2008  (playlist 25 mins) (movie 1,5 mins) (blog for updates and response)




Hallo Listener!                                                                                                                      

if you enjoy listening to these tracks, we’d welcome your comments and responses. if you use these tracks for re-mixes or broadcasts, please share the results with us.                                              

For audio comments, please up-load your recordings on (keyword: Durban Sings) and send us the links via the comment boxes of this  blog.

Thank you for listening.

DURBAN SINGS gratefully acknowledges the support of the following organisations;

The University of Kwazulu-Natal, Howard College Campus, Durban,  South Africa.


Centre for Civil Society UKZN









 The IT Department at UKZN, the Department of History at UKZN

  1. Kenneth A permalink

    Durban Sings School Project – Windsor Ontario, Canada

    • durbansings permalink

      many thanks for your sending, Kenneth. it’s well received over here and will be part of the listening session in tomorrow’s editioral session with all the collectives. warm greetings from Durban

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