WMG Late: Africa Rising

  • 7 April 2016
  • 18:30 - 22:30
  • Free. No need to book. First Thursday of every other month. Galleries and bar open all evening.

WMG Lates, our bimonthly after-hours events, are a chance to experience the Gallery in a relaxed adult atmosphere. Visit the special exhibitions and sample some of the best art, music, poetry and performance in London co-curated by Vine Collective.

This April, be uplifted by the rhythm and beauty of South African culture inspired by the politics of cloth in the exhibition Social Fabric. Legendary musician and social activist Eugene Skeef leads percussion workshops and a live participatory performance, and Poet and “Renaissance man” Leeto Thale performs.

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

Steve Biko, I Write What I Like, 1978

The line up

Eugene Skeef

Eugene Skeef FRSA is a London-based South African percussionist, composer, poet, educationalist and broadcaster. He also works in conflict resolution, acts as a consultant on cultural development and teaches creative leadership. Eugene has made his mark on the British cultural scene through his innovative creative projects that straddle a wide spectrum of art forms, including community music, jazz, ‘world’ music, European classical music, contemporary dance theatre and children’s storytelling.

Eugene’s roots are firmly established in his cultural work with Steve Biko, the late South African civil rights leader. As a young activist he co-led a nationwide literacy campaign teaching in schools, colleges and communities across apartheid South Africa. He has composed for major orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. His collaborative project The Battle Of The Wordsmiths (with writer Tunde Olatunji and Blue Hippo Media) was shortlisted for the PRS New Music Award.

memory of beauty



in the paradise

i knew as a child

but i remember

that a flower can grow

from the alluvium

of history's waste

Eugene Skeef

Leeto Thale

Leeto Thale is a performance artist, a writer and poet who also works as an arts producer and curator. His published works include poetry, feature newspaper articles and he has written and released music on various digital platforms. His current projects include a documentary which integrates fiction, as well as a full length music album and a novel. Aptly described by his peers as the Renaissance man. 

She cries out

But that crying

Is her springtime

Give me that

Play me that -

She signals

To the master

On the drum.

Leeto Thale

Matt Temple

Matt Temple runs the South African afro-jazz music label Matsuli Music. This specialises in the reissue of long long South African classics from artists such as Batsumi, Sathima Bea Benjamin, Dick Khoza and Tete Mbambisa amongst others. Based in London Matt was exiled during the 1980s for refusing to serve in the apartheid army. He was one of the creators and contributes to the definitive South African music blog electricjive.

@matsulimusic (Twitter/Instagram)

About Vine Collective

Vine Collective create eclectic nights hosting writers, live music, film makers, DJs and poets. Co-curating the WMG Lates, Vine Collective invite artists to respond to the Morris collections and special exhibitions with new or existing work.

See https://twitter.com/vine_collective for more information.


The Programme

6.30 – 7.15pm

Percussion and body rhythm workshops with musical virtuoso Eugene Skeef

Drop-in, no experience necessary

7.45pm – 8.30pm

Percussion and body rhythm workshops with musical virtuoso Eugene Skeef

Drop-in, no experience necessary

8.15pm – 8.45pm

Poetry with Leeto Thale

Introduced by Kirsteen McNish of Vine Collective. Unreserved seating and standing.

9.15pm – 10pm

Africa Rising Finale

Two of South Africa’s leading poets and musicians perform together for the first time in an uplifting blend of words and music: Leeto Thale and Eugene Skeef.

Following the performance, Eugene will lead the audience in a unique collaborative musical experience.