"Tsotsi" Star Zola Speaks at U.N. & Celebrates South Africa with Angelique Kidjo and Vusi Mahlasela

Hollywood (California), USA – South Africa’s Zola, the Kwaito hitmaker, TV host
and costar of the Oscar winning film Tsotsi, will perform with Angelique Kidjo and Vusi Mahlasela in an all-star tribute to Brenda Fassi and Miriam Makeba on Saturday, July 1, at 7 p.m. as part of Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park Bandshell (9th Street andProspect Park West in Park Slope).

Zola returns to the U.S. to join Oxfam International in New York to lobby the United Nations for global controls on small arms trade during its Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit trade in Small arms and Light Weapons taking place June 26-July 7. Zola will speak June 26 in support of Oxfam’s Control Arms campaign, a joint campaign with Amnesty and IANSA, focusing on getting the world to agree that weapons should not be sold to countries where there is a high risk they will fall into the hands of human rights abusers and war criminals. On June 28, he will perform at an Oxfam-staged concert in New York.

Growing up under apartheid and a product of the rough township from which he took his name, Zola has used his career to bring social injustice, poverty and violence out of the shadows to improve the lives of his fellow South Africans. Zola represented this struggle as an actor in Tsotsi, South Africa’s Oscar-winning portrait of an angry young man living in a state of extreme urban deprivation.

This world pumps with the raw energy of Kwaito music, South Africa’s answer to American hip hop, which is the style of music Zola is internationally known for performing. “Kwaito kids are made from hunger, abuse, no father, violence & guns,” says Zola. “Now as adults we must change the game for the better. Now we must change everything we are made from.”

Born Bonginkosi Dlamini, Zola released his debut album Mdlwembe to massive critical acclaim in 2000, followed by two other albums of Kwaito music, Khokhovula and Bhambatha. Zola has won many South Africa music awards including Artist of the Year 2002, Best Soundtrack (“Yizo Yizo”), Best music video (“Ghetto Scandalous”), and Best Kwaito album (“Mdlwembe”). Since 2003, Zola has starred in his own hit TV show “Zola 7″and has acted alongside Taye Diggs in the film Drum.

Founded in 1979, Celebrate Brooklyn! a program of the not-for-profit BRIC/Brooklyn
Information and Culture, Inc, attracts over 250,000 people annually by transforming the prospect Park Bandshell into an extraordinary outdoor theater featuring internationally acclaimed performers and talented emerging artists. BRIC presents media, education, performing and visual arts programs that are reflective of and relevant to Brooklyn’s diverse communities.

Oxfam International is a confederation of 12 organizations working together with over 3,000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty, suffering and injustice. The confederation seeks increased worldwide public understanding that economic and social justice are crucial to sustainable development, striving to be a global campaigning force promoting the awareness and motivation that comes with global citizenship while seeking to shift public opinion in order to make equity the same priority as economic growth.

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