Soweto Gospel Choir will perform at Durham Cathedral in memory of Durham’s murdered lecturer. Photo: Henri Engelbrecht. (Image: Henry Engelbrecht)
A memorial concert is to be held for a speaker who was murdered by the South African secret police.
Ruth First, a lecturer at Durham University, was murdered by the South African secret police 40 years ago – because she fought for freedom for all in South Africa. Today, Durham University pays tribute to his work and his sacrifice.
Durham University, in conjunction with the Ruth First Educational Trust, and the Center for Humanities Engaging Science and Society will stage a concert with the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir in the unique setting of Durham Cathedral.
This performance, which will take place on October 24, is part of the Soweto Gospel Choir’s Freedom Tour, which celebrates the struggle for freedom in South Africa and pays tribute to Nelson Mandela.
Read more: Durham mural of anti-apartheid campaigner Ruth First restored
Image: Ruth First (Image: Ruth First)
Ruth First was killed in 1982 by a letter bomb while on research leave in Maputo, Mozambique. During her lifetime, First was an outspoken activist against the apartheid regime, as well as a noted academic and journalist.
Alongside her husband, Joe Slovo, First was a close personal friend of Nelson Mandela. Of his friend, Nelson Mandela said: “Ruth’s life, and her death, remains a beacon for all who love freedom.”
The Soweto Gospel Choir will celebrate the lives of First and Mandela at their concert at Durham Cathedral, honoring the legacy of freedom they left behind.
A Durham University spokesperson said: “This year marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Ruth First and to mark the occasion we have hosted a concert by the Soweto Gospel Choir at Durham Cathedral.
“Money generated from ticket sales will be used to cover concert costs and any excess will be donated to the Ruth First Educational Trust (RFET). The RFET funds a scholarship each year for one Southern African student at the University .”
“In collaboration with RFET and the Center for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS), the University has hosted a series of events over the past year to celebrate Ruth’s life and work.”
Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir. Photo: Henry Engelbrecht (Image: Henry Engelbrecht)
This concert is the latest in a series of events organized in memory of Ruth First. Durham City Parish Council has unveiled a restored mural dedicated to the famous anti-apartheid campaigner.
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President of the Coun Parish Council. Alan Doig said, “We are absolutely delighted to honor a wonderful person associated with our parish in this way.
In addition to this, a small traveling exhibition showcasing the original Olivetti typewriter which Ruth used for her activist work as an academic and journalist, will be launched later this year.
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