Skip to main content

Grammy Award Winning Musician Headlines Westminster College’s Spiritual Emphasis Series

Share on:

Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Grammy award winning musician and “empowerment facilitator” Bakithi Kumalo will spend a week at Westminster College sharing his message “Take Chances, Have Courage.” Kumalo’s appearance will kick off the spring sector of the Spiritual Emphasis Westminster speaker series sponsored by the college’s Office of Faith and Spirituality.

“Take Chances, Have Courage” captures Kumalo’s upbringing in South Africa during Apartheid, a system of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination that existed in South Africa between 1948 and 1991. Born and raised in Soweto, the famous Johannesburg township that was also home to Nelson Mandela, Kumalo will talk about Mandela’s influences as an anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist and share the changes he witnessed first-hand upon the abolishment of the Apartheid regime. Kumalo will also talk about the history and evolution of Paul Simon’s landmark album Graceland, in which he played a major role.

Accompanied by The South African All Star Band, Kumalo and his colleagues will give multiple presentations and performances throughout the week of Feb. 12- Feb. 19. The featured guests will play traditional South African classics that include earthy rhythms, rich melodies and songs sung in Zulu, one of South Africa’s official languages. They will also visit various African-American history and music courses while on campus.

On Monday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Wallace Memorial Chapel, there will be a movie presentation of Under African Skies. The movie chronicles the story behind the incredible journey, history and evolution of Paul Simon’s album Graceland and an exploration of the cultural and political climate of South Africa 25 years ago. With the compelling perceptions of anti-apartheid activists and music legends, this film is a profound rumination on the role of the artist in society.

On Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018 at 7 p.m. in Wallace Memorial Chapel, Mr. Kumalo will be the guest speaker during the evening service. Music will be provided by Kumalo and The South African-All Star Band.

Kumalo and The South African All Stars Band will give a full concert on Monday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. General admission cost is a $10 donation that will go to support hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. Westminster College students are free.

All SEW events are open to the public.

To learn more about Bakithi Kumalo, visit

For more information about the SEW series, Diane Gabriel at or 724-946-7117.