Ubuntu inspires arts festival


When world musician Tarynne Swarts Pachamama founded the annual Imibala Arts Festival, it was with a vision of ubuntu and an aim to make a positive change in local communities through music and art targeting the youth.

As the festival CEO, Swarts aims for it to not only be a platform for musicians and visual artists, but to also include workshops and educational components so that all attendees can learn and network.

“I started this primarily for EC artists but it has received good responses nationally, across Africa and overseas.

“It is important for me to have more visual artists so we can create a cross collaboration,” said Swarts.

Facilitators will include an international visual artist from Poland and artists from as far as Argentina.

The festival is a non-profit organisation with the aim of developing emerging artists and creating a viable creative economy. Although there is support from Business and Arts SA and the Red Location Arts Gallery, more support is needed.

“I have faith and a vision to drive this forward to an international programme so I may be able to employ and create an economy for artists,” said Swarts.

The artist wears many hats as a pianist, singer/songwriter, producer, businesswoman and a music teacher at Gonubie Primary School in East London.


While in Granada, Spain to pursue her PhD in intercultural communication, she recorded her debut album titled Pachamama (meaning “Mother Earth”).

“It was amazing and I got to shoot the video in Ibiza while on a working holiday. I had only written the cords for Pachamama and the vocals came later. I literally got together with various artists and we shot the video in about 20 minutes,” Swarts said.

Her musical influence is a cross of African and Latin, with some coming from her time as a master’s student in Belgium at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven).

“I have a lot of responsibility but when God puts something in your heart, you have to go through with it. I have been blessed to be taught by great musicians and I would like to give others that opportunity,” she said.

Youth between 16 and 25 years have until October 25 to register by entering a form found on the Imibala Arts Festival Facebook page.

The event will take place at Alliance Française, Port Elizabeth on December 12 to 13.


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