A Concert for Refugees 2020 Lebo Mashile, Wendy Oldfield, Yvonne Chaka Chaka amongst a stellar line up, share the plight of Refugees

November 2020: A stellar array of iconic South African artists is giving voice to the global refugee crisis with a second part of award-winning Concert for Refugees to be held virtually on December 10th, 2020 at 19h30 (SAST).


As an effort to create awareness about the challenges of the refugees and other forcibly displaced people, through inspiring people by the music and other forms of arts, Turquoise Harmony Institute (THI) hosted a concert for refugees in Johannesburg on June 21st, 2019 a day after World Refugee Day, at Linder Auditorium. THI does feel grateful for the South Africans’ approach to this issue and uniting toward the same goal. The event set a new precedent for social justice workers around the world and the Turquoise Harmony Institute was awarded Pioneers in SDGs Project Stakeholders Award at UNGA Conference in New York in 2019.


The above results were very motivating and it was decided to do it again in December 2020. The virtual concert will be held to mark the World Human Rights Day on December 10th which each year is celebrated to honour the United Nations General Assembly‘s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).This year, World Human Rights Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee – and the upcoming virtual concert provides an excellent opportunity for South Africans and people of the world to stand with refugees and other forcibly displaced people. All profits from the event will go directly to providing service and support to refugees and other forcibly displaced people in South Africa.


Already confirmed for this unmissable event are Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Wouter Kellerman, Pops Mohamed, Wendy Oldfield, Tresor, Ertugrul Erkisi and BUSKAID with Lebo Mashile adding to the heavyweight line-up. The music programme of Jazz, Afro-pop and Light Classical music will be accompanied by a video presentation that movingly captures the stories of refugees, with a particular focus on women and children.


“We are honoured to have such incredible musicians taking part in the concert and are calling on South Africans to enjoy a very special evening of music that’s devoted to one of the most urgent crises facing the world today,” says Ayhan Cetin, Executive Director of the Turquoise Harmony Institute (THI).


THI is spearheading A Concert for Refugees 2020, working with partner institutions SAMRO Foundation, Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) Amnesty International SA, Universal Rights Association (URA), Horizon Education Trust (HET), Time to Care SA, South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), BUSKAID, Music In Africa (MIA), SOJAC, The National Arts Council (NAC), Concerts SA, IKS Cultural Consulting, Refugee Social Services, Scalabrini, Soda Studios, and Three2Six Project.


“We are gratified that so many organizations and artists have answered the call to highlight the plight of refugees,” adds Cetin. “This is chance for the public to show that they stand with forcibly displaced people – globally and here in South Africa.”


A recent report published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) revealed that an unprecedented 79.5 million people around the world have been forced from their homes. Among these, an estimated 30 – 34 million (38-43%) are children below 18 years of age. There is also an estimated 4.2 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement. Nearly one person is forcibly displaced every two seconds as a result of conflict or persecution.


There are 266,700 refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa according to UNHCR and according to unofficial figures it’s more than a million. The country is home to the highest number of unresolved asylum cases in the world. The refugees are constantly worried about their daily survival. Issues of subsistence, shelter, protection against crime and eviction, and the ongoing threat of xenophobia, weigh heavily on their minds.


Since its inception in 2006, THI has used the culture of Ubuntu to serve the people of South Africa and the world, propelled by a belief that the future of humanity must be built on a culture of coexistence, dialogue and tolerance. The organization is guided by a vision of enhancing and developing social capital – through building personal relationships and networks in order to achieve mutual understanding. Among its multifaceted activities are The International Festival of Language & Culture and Dialogue & Friendship Dinners, as well as conferences, seminars and art and music-led initiatives.


“We assure music lovers of an extraordinary experience that will remain in their memories for many years to come as well as a deeper understanding of the situation and difficulties suffered by refugees,” concludes Cetin.


A Concert for Refugees is an annual event. A Concert for Refugees 2020 is the second event after A Concert for Refugees 2019 which was Africa’s first concert for refugees.


To be part of this night of music and compassion, you can simply register at the below link.


Website and link for free tickets: www.refugeeconcert.co.za


Twitter:  @ARefugeeConcert

Facebook: @ARefugeeConcert

Instagram: @RefugeeConcert


For more information contact Ayhan Cetin at Turquoise Harmony Institute, Director, on 011 447 8706, or info@turquoise.org.za


For media queries, interview requests and access to high resolution pictures please contact JT Communication Solutions on (011) 788 7632, or media@jtcomms.co.za


Issued by JT Communication Solutions on behalf of Turquoise Harmony Institute (THI) – www. turquoise.org.za



Notes to Editor:


About the Artists and the MC


Pops Mohamed

Pops Mohamed has created 37 albums and has recorded in South Africa, Germany, Copenhagen, Vietnam, Belgium, New York, Oslo, Finland, Ireland, Zanzibar (with Zena Edwards), Namibia, Nepal and London. One of a handful of South African musicians who can play the kora, a measure of Pops’ extraordinary impact is that, after performing for Quincy Jones at a function, Quincy and Shabaaz (Malcolm X’s daughter) invited Pops to the US. Among the accolades received by this unique artist are two South African Music Awards –   a Best Traditional Jazz Performance SAMA for ‘Ancestral Healing’ and a second award with Bruce Cassidy for their album ‘Timeless’ which won the Best Instrumental Performance SAMA.


Yvonne Chaka Chaka

Yvonne’s inimitable and distinctive alto voice is as warm as she is personable and gracious to her audiences. Yvonne states emphatically, “I love performing for my audiences.” Her music awards include SAMAs, KORA, OKTV, Autumn Harvest, and a host of others that have recognised her musical excellence. Yvonne’s personal messages are woven throughout every song she’s written. With musical beats that span Afro-traditional to a world sound, the power of her music equals the power of this iconic artist’s clear social and spiritual advice to her audience.



The BUSKAID Soweto String Project was established by Rosemary Nalden in January 1997 in response to requests from the local Diepkloof community. Initially the fledgling project consisted of fifteen members of the original Diepkloof Project and a few new beginners. Since then it has grown exponentially, and currently comprises approximately 115 students, all of whom are drawn from the less privileged local community.


The BUSKAID Music School has produced a string ensemble with a formidable reputation for high standards of performance and a sophisticated grasp of musical style. As a result, it has become widely sought-after for a variety of functions and events, many of which are of an extremely prestigious nature. These include appearances with a number of international artists such as Sir John, Eliot Gardiner, Steven Isserlis, Bernarda Fink, Melvyn Tan and Sir Karl Jenkins as well as several performances in the presence of former President Nelson Mandela and President Thabo Mbeki, as well as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, amongst others.


Wendy Oldfield

Wendy Oldfield is a South African singer. In 1984 she qualified as a teacher (Higher Diploma of Education) and on completing her studies chose a career in music. She is the winner of several music awards, and currently lives in Wilderness, Western Cape, South Africa. In 1983, Oldfield was involved in the forming of Sweatband, a South African music group. She was the lead vocalist of the band, and released two albums. The group’s biggest hit was “This Boy” which reached number 15 on the official South African top 20 in September 1986. “Shape of Her Body” was also a hit on South African radio.


Oldfield first rose to fame with the release of her debut album, Beautiful World. This album won her the 1992 Oktave award for Best Female Vocalist. Her song “Miracle” was nominated for Song of the Year. In 1998, she released her album Duwayo, and was nominated for a First National Bank Producer of the Year award. In 1999 she released the fourth album of her solo career, On a Pale Blue Dot, for which she won the FNB Pop Album of the Year award. She was also nominated for Best Female Vocalist.


For a short while she was involved with the band Mondetta (1999–2001), before releasing her fifth album Holy Water. At the ninth official South African Music Awards she received a nomination for the Best of Adult Contemporary award.


She has shared the stage and collaborated with artists such as Brenda Fassie, Johnny Clegg, Louis Mhlanga, Vusi Maglasela, Robin Auld, Stimela, Paul Hanmer, Lionel Bastos, Vicky Samson and Hugh Masekela to name but a few.


Wouter Kellerman

Wouter Kellerman is a Grammy Award-winning South African flautist, producer and composer who has won seven South African Music Awards. Using his classical training as a foundation, Kellerman has focused his attention on World and Roots music, exploring the versatility of the instrument and fusing classical and contemporary sounds.


Kellerman received a Grammy Award at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards for his 2014 album Winds of Samsara, a collaboration with Indian composer and producer Ricky Kej. Winds of Samsara reached No. 1 on the US New Age Album Billboard Charts and also peaked at No. 1 on the ZMR (Zone Music Reporter) Top 100 Radio Airplay Chart in the month of July 2014.


Kellerman’s Love Language (2015) received a Grammy® Nomination for ‘Best Contemporary Instrumental Album’, and won a SAMA for ‘Best Instrumental and/or Classical Album’.


His next adventure was a collaboration with the Soweto Gospel Choir, Symphonic Soweto – A Tribute to Nelson Mandela. The album sees the two Grammy® winners re-conceptualize traditional music, freedom songs (including Mandela favorite, “Lizalis’idinga”) and popular songs by South African legends (including Brenda Fassie, Lucky Dube and Miriam Makeba), from a symphonic and choral perspective – as part of honoring Nelson Mandela in the year he would have celebrated his 100th birthday. Symphonic Soweto won the 2018 SAMA for Best Adult Contemporary Album – Kellerman’s seventh SAMA recognition. From Symphonic Soweto, Kellerman’s collaborative composition Soweto Travels won the USA Songwriting Competition for Best Instrumental Composition in 2017.


As part of his mission to work with and uplift children, Kellerman collaborated with the Ndlovu Youth Choir (a rural choir based in Moutse in the Limpopo province of South Africa) in 2018. Their African version of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You became an internet sensation, going viral with tens of millions of views on social media, and winning awards like the HMMA (Hollywood Music in Media Awards) for ‘Best Independent Music Video’ – pushing the Ndlovu Youth Choir firmly into the international limelight. This resulted in America’s Got Talent scouting the choir to enter the 2019 competition. Ndlovu went ahead and delivered a sensational first few rounds, going all the way through to the finals of the competition, showcasing South African music and spirit in the process. Their collaboration is part of Kellerman’s 2019 album In A Different Light, in which he re-imagines and re-shapes some of his favorite melodies by approaching them from a fresh angle.



TRESOR (French for “treasure” and pronounced “Trezor”) is multi award winning and platinum selling 2015 breakout singer-songwriter & producer licensed to Universal Music Group under his own label VII Recordings a division of Jacquel Entertainment Group. TRESOR’s first language is Music but he is also fluent in English, French and Swahili. His songs reflect a peregrine of life shared by so many on the continent of Africa, but few are able to express their experiences in a way that captures the ear so universally and directly.


TRESOR released his debut album, VII in September 2015. The album – which he worked on for seven years – featured collaborations multi award winning artists AKA, Beatenberg, Khuli Chana and The Soil. TRESOR’s Mount Everest (Freddy Verano Remix) music video, a NUMBER ONE airplay hit in Italy and a song that reached number one on the Global Shazam trending list, quickly reached over 1,000,000 (1 Million) views online after its release. VII won Best Pop Album at the 2016 South African Music Awards and was also one of the most nominated albums.


Spearheading Pop in Africa; Multi-Award winning singer and song writer, TRESOR, is set to take the world by storm with a growing fan base already in the U.K, Japan, Italy and South Africa, and having recently brokered a 7 figure multi-year record deal (one of the most lucrative record deals for a South African based artist). TRESOR is a keen philanthropist. He is an ambassador for Nelson Mandela Children Fund and also a United Refugee Agency ambassador advocating Refugees rights. TRESOR is a new FORD ambassador! He wrote, produced and designed the soundtrack to their new campaign “A Journey Extraordinary”.


Lebogang (Lebo) Mashile (MC)

South African actress, writer and performance poet Lebogang Mashile was named one of South Africa’s Awesome Women of 2005 by Cosmopolitan and one of the Top 100 youth in South Africa by the Mail & Guardian in 2006, 2007 and 2009. In 2006, she was named the top personality in television by The Star in their annual Top 100 list, in 2007 she was the recipient of the City Press/Rapport Woman of Prestige Award, and was also named Woman of the Year for 2010 in the category of Arts and Culture by Glamour magazine. Mashile was cited as one of the Top 100 Africans by New African magazine in 2011 and in 2012 she won the Art Ambassador award at the inaugural Mbokodo Awards for South African Women in the Arts. Mashile performed at the Opening of Parliament in 2009. She has been described as “probably the first name that comes to mind when thinking about a female writer making colossal waves in the poetry space”.


Ertugrul Erkisi

Ertugrul Erkisi is a renowned singer, composer, instrumentalist and producer of traditional Turkish music. He hosted his own music show on television and radio for many years and has given concerts in Germany, Austria, Holland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Tatarstan, Indonesia, and Belgium.


Mr. Erkisi is also a prolific composer of music.  His first album was published in 1994 at the age of 22. Since then he has successfully published a total of 14 albums over the course of more than twenty years. He has also composed songs and albums for other professional singers for the past eighteen years.


Mr. Erkisi has received several awards including the National Music Award, one of the most prestigious music awards in Turkey. His albums were sold over one million copies worldwide. Mr. Erkisi’s expertise in the field of music is such that he has also been selected to serve as a jurist on both national and international music competitions on more than ten occasions.


Aslihan Erkisi

Aslihan Erkisi is a professional singer, composer, choir director, and a scholar of music education. She has a first place graduation degree at Istanbul Technical University in 2008, which is the most respectable Turkish Music Conservatory. In 2010 she completed her Master’s Degree in the department of Education Sciences at Yeditepe University. Between 2010 and 2016 she gave lectures on repertoire and correpetition at Istanbul Technical University Conservatory. She also directed Turkish Music Adult Choir at the same university. In 2016 she started PHD education in the department of Musicology at Fatih University. Between 2015 and 2016, she wrote columns on music, art and life at Meydan newspaper. In 2016 she had to stop her PHD education as she moved to the US because of discrimination and security problems. She got first place in the competition organized by Turkish Education Society in 2006. In the same year, she instructed the choir of the album called “Thank You Very Much Oh Allah!” which was a project of Kids Sofi Music. Kral TV Video Music Awards, which is regarded as the Grammy Awards of Turkey, granted her The Year of The Song Award in Sofi Music. And she got 7th place in the bestselling album awards organized by MUYAP, which stands for the Association of Turkish Music Producers.


She performed a solo in the album called Ninni in 2003 and in the album called Nevese in 2012. She was invited to many national TV channels and radio programmes. She gave many concerts in Turkey and in Europe.


Fatih Bayram

Fatih Bayram is a musician, producer and sound director. He’s been performing with various ensembles in New York and New Jersey since 2006. He has played classical Turkish music, Turkish folk music, and contemporary Turkish music with musicians all around the United States, including Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. He has introduced the sound of Turkish folk and popular music to many at intercultural gatherings and festivals around the States as well as in Canada.

Post author