WELL-KNOWN NORTH AMERICAN MUSLIM ENTERTAINERS TO TOUR SOUTH AFRICA
Three well-known North American personalities will visit South Africa early next month, to participate in a series of events aimed at assisting young Muslims deal with the challenges they face living in the West.
Featuring comedian Baba Ali, spoken word poet Boonaa Mohammed and Islamic scholar Navaid Aziz ‘The Strangers Tour’ has been sold out in over twenty cities worldwide, and will visit Durban, Pretoria and Cape Town from May 5 to 8.
Mohammed, 23, a Canadian who has several slam poetry title credits to his name, says that the event started as an idea between himself and American Baba Ali, who shot to fame after he started posting homemade satirical videos about goings on in the Muslim community on YouTube.
"(Our idea was) to use our influence as Muslim entertainers to organically attract youth to an event that would offer more than just some cheap laughs,” he explains.
In stepped Aziz, 30, a graduate of the Islamic University of Medina, also from Canada, who is popular amongst young Muslims in various countries, including the USA and the UK.
“The idea of having performers construct a program around a traditionally trained imam to some was unbelievable, but after countless sold out events all around the world clearly our formula has been more successful than we could have ever imagined,” says Mohammed, who has also performed at TEDx Toronto. “As a community we need exciting and interesting ways of reaching out and teaching Muslim youth about their religion, to ensure the bright and healthy development of the future leaders of tomorrow.” In ‘The Strangers Tour’ Mohammed, Ali and Aziz use spoken-word poetry, comedy and motivational speaking to reconnect Muslims with their faith and their communities.
“Boonaa Mohammed will present powerful poetry which deals with personal insights and reflections on spirituality for individuals who feel alienated from the community,” said Fatima Asmal-Motala the director of ILM-SA, a Durban-based organisation which is hosting the tour in conjunction with the Caring Women’s Forum of Pretoria, the Muslim Student’s Association (MSA) of the Cape and the Willowton Group.
“Baba Ali will present a humorous take on family and relationship dynamics in a sketch entitled ‘Men are from Makkah and Women are from Madeenah,’ and Navaid Aziz will deliver a dynamic lecture on reviving one’s faith in the midst of various challenges faced,” she added.
Details of events around the country are as follows:
Pretoria: Saturday May 5, 6pm at Kit Kat Convention Centre (tickets available at Fruity Imies, Video Razeena, Yusra Tours: Zaheera 078 678 6700/ Nadia 082 778 6445/ firstname.lastname@example.org and in Johannesburg at Gift of the Givers, also from: Yasmien Gani: 083 261 2661; Nabeela Saloojee Bham: 082 468 3183; Asima Ghoor: 082 786 0382)
Cape Town: Sunday May 6, 4.30pm at Old Mutual Campus Courtyard (tickets available at Muslim Hands, Opera Mini Market and Sawants Creations)
Durban: Tuesday May 8, 6pm at the NMJ Islamic Centre (tickets available at all branches of Kikis)
The Strangers Tour SA - Boonaa Mohammed
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