The International Marimba & Steelpan Festival is back, celebrating African rhythms and global unity

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Education Africa is delighted to announce the highly anticipated annual International Marimba & Steelpan Festival will take place over the weekend of 29 and 30 July 2023 at St Dominic’s School for Girls in Boksburg. This vibrant event celebrating African rhythms and global unity, brings together like-minded performers, educators, and enthusiasts from around Africa and South Africa.

The Education Africa International Marimba & Steelpan Festival offers a unique platform to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Africa and South Africa and foster global unity through marimba and steelpan music. It has become a hallmark event in the South African marimba community, attracting participants from diverse backgrounds and age groups. The festival provides a dynamic platform for young musicians to share their skills, learn from experienced mentors, and explore the captivating rhythms of marimba and steelpan music.

Attendees will have the opportunity to witness over 280 performances by young people from all over South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The festival will feature a range of activities including back-to-back competitions, performances by professional musicians as well as over 90 workshops in various disciplines including gumboot dancing, marimba and steelpan playing, djembe drumming and even some fun workshops for our very little people aged 3 to 8.

“Through the universal language of music, the festival aims to promote cultural exchange, appreciation and understanding,” says Joan Lithgow, Director of the Festival. “Participants will engage in collaborative sessions, fostering connections that transcend borders and nurturing a sense of unity among diverse cultures and communities. Social cohesion is at the cornerstone of what we do at Education Africa and this Festival is social cohesion in action.”

Education Africa, the organisation behind this festival, has a long-standing commitment to advancing education and empowering youth through the arts. The Marimba & Steelpan Festival is one of the organisation’s flagship initiatives, aimed at fostering creativity, social cohesion, nation-building, self-expression, and cross-cultural understanding among young musicians.

As part of its broader mission, Education Africa seeks to create sustainable educational opportunities for disadvantaged communities. The festival serves as a fundraising platform to support the marimba project which supports over 2000 children on a weekly basis learning to play marimbas in 37 Education Africa Marimba Hubs.

Joan expresses her excitement in uniting musicians and music enthusiasts from across Africa for the Education Africa International Marimba & Steelpan Festival. She anticipates that this event will once again serve as a source of inspiration and empowerment for young musicians. Moreover, she eagerly awaits the presence of spectators and music lovers who can provide encouragement and upliftment to the performers.

International Marimba & Steelpan Festival

Where: St Dominic’s School for Girls in Boksburg

When: Weekend of 29 and 30 July 2023

The Education Africa International Marimba & Steelpan Festival promises to be an extraordinary celebration of music, talent, and cultural diversity. Join us for an unforgettable experience that combines the infectious rhythms of Africa and South Africa with the harmonious melodies of the Caribbean.

For more information about the festival, registration details, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit

About Education Africa:

Established in 1992, Education Africa pins our focus on providing Poverty alleviation through Education. Founded by humanitarian and social entrepreneur, James Urdang, with the gracious support of such historic political heroes as Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela. Our programmes creatively focus on improving education quality and access, providing a multitude of educational and skills-building opportunities for disadvantaged South Africans. We aim to assist individuals in their quest to obtain a quality, relevant education and ensure that they become global citizens and competitive, productive elements in the local job market. Our work has directly benefited tens of thousands of South Africans over the past three decades, and indirectly impacted over one million more. We support our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, from toddlers to adulthood, with an aim of impacting whole communities throughout all nine provinces of South Africa.

Education Africa is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving education and empowering youth across South Africa. Through various programs and initiatives, Education Africa aims to create sustainable opportunities, promote cultural exchange, and foster social development. For more information, please visit

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