Change the world


Nelson Mandela University will be paying tribute to frontline workers in its re-imagined celebration of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Jazz Day.

In recognition of the diplomatic role that jazz can play in uniting people in all corners of the globe, the University is sharing an exclusive interview with media personality Shado Twala, as well as a picture story of all events celebrating jazz at the institution in the past two years.

“We want to pay tribute to those men and women who are working hard to keep us all safe through jazz,” says Arts, Culture and Heritage Deputy Director Ryan Pillay.  

In addition, the University also wishes to honour the passing of a great Jazz aficionado, writer and columnist Mr Government Zini this week.

Mr Pillay says International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact.  It further seeks to raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication.

This year Cape Town had been selected as the 2020 Global Host City for the celebration.  However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic was not able to show its rich jazz history and heritage.

Mr Pillay says Nelson Mandela University has enjoyed music as part of its academic and co-curricular programme since its inception.

The arts receive institutional patronage through the division of Arts, Culture and Heritage housed within Communication and Marketing. The Faculty of Humanities with interdisciplinary schools is home to the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) and in addition many student societies reflect the formal and informal genres of music.

Part of the rich heritage of the University Jazz footprint can be found in the Music Department, offering both general and professionally oriented university programmes as well as technologically and career-oriented programmes.

The Department of Music plays an active role in Port Elizabeth’s lively cultural scene and performance opportunities include student and staff concerts, the Mandela University’s Brass Ensemble, Symphonic Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Big Band, Jazz Band and String Ensemble.

ISISUSA is an institutional concert hosted since 2008 by Arts, Culture and Heritage, provides an opportunity for staff, students and the community to engage with music and the jazz genre. The project culminates in a concert that has grown to be a flagship event on the city’s music lovers’ calendar.

The latter has been held under various themes to date, including women, unity and healing, and paying homage to legends. The Bay’s most talented musicians and national acts have graced the stage forming part of the project.

Deeping the conversation, about music, Jazz particularly and all things culture and creativity we sat down with South African media personality Shado Twala.  Twala, shared parts of her experiences: connections to culture, socialization, her media career, shared messages of support and deep appreciation to UNESCO International Jazz Day and all front-line workers fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen to the conversation...

A picture story has been created to music, showcasing some of the Nelson Mandela University Jazz experiences over the past years. View the story...


Contact information
Mrs Michelle Du Preez
Cultural Co-Ordinator
Tel: +27 41 504 2508