Malian music, African archeology, arts and culture came to together at the Wits Origins Centre on Tuesday night to celebrate the history of the Sahara, in the first collaboration of its kind.
Armed with an acoustic guitar, Malian musician Vieux Farak Toure helped to bring northern and southern Africa archeology together as his performed at the opening of the Sahara exhibition.
The exhibition uses multimedia to tell the story of the Sahara, how it is has transformed, and shaped all those who find their roots in it, from the time of the first native Malian Tuareg nomads.
“We think of ourselves as Africans and we have sense that we are born here, but Sahara is the biggest part of Africa and very few people in Joburg know about that,” said curator, Lara Mallen.
The music by highly-acclaimed Toure then was a fitting way to open the exhibition.
“I am from the Sahara, born down there, I’m from there. It’s a great honor because it takes me back there in a way,” he said.
While the African continent has gone through an array of social and political disputes, the Sahara exhibition is a reminder of the rich cultural history of the African continent.
Professor Tawana Kupe, Wits deputy vice chancellor (finance) and chairman of the Origins Centre, said that the exhibition was important in placing the university, as well African archeology as major players in the world.
“People often ask where are the origins, they are right here,” he said.
The Sahara exhibition is on at the Wits Oigins Center until 15 October, the exhibition is open to the public at R45.00 per person.