The UKZN International Relations Department in partnership with the School of Music hosted 10 students and two academics from the University of Waterloo in Canada recently for a three-week, fun-filled African music experience on the Howard College campus.

This music partnership has been on-going for the past decade with UKZN welcoming eager international music scholars to share in both the African music experience and its literature.

Professor Carol Ann Weaver, a jazz pianist and composer and Professor of music at the University of Waterloo, has had a long connection with African music as the forerunner of jazz and, on her own initiative, has brought groups of Canadian students to UKZN to introduce them to African culture, music and dance.

The students attended a series of lectures on African music and jazz, isiZulu language and culture, and even African literature. But they also had the opportunity to go sight-seeing in and around Durban,’ said Mr Roy Dace of the UKZN International Relations office.

He highlighted the importance of such partnerships stating that it provided an opportunity to showcase the School of Music and to promote the province in general and UKZN in particular in Canada.

Bachelor of Music student at the University of Waterloo, Ms Jackie Annis, said: ‘Being in South Africa and UKZN has definitely been a culture shock for me. But it has been such a great learning experience and I feel like I’ve learnt something so valuable and precious with African music and its culture.’

Another music student, Ms Jane Honek, shared similar sentiments. ‘There’s so much music in Africa that I haven’t heard before in my life. It’s truly amazing. We even learnt how to speak a bit of isiZulu and how to “Zulu dance”. That was awesome.’

The students attended various concerts and the UKZN Youth music festival. They were keen to visit Durban again. ‘UKZN is such a beautiful campus. It’s sort of like a nature campus - we’d definitely like to come back soon,’ said Annis.

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