What’s on in Durban during Conference week!

by Marlijn van Berne

This week is no doubt going to be a crazy, inspiring, moving, frustrating but hugely valuable learning experience. The strange thing, for me, is that in 2000 I was part of my then Secretariat family; working side-by-side, to prepare for this incredible, global event. This week, I am a participant; blessed to be here, eager to learn and excited to be part of this global movement where all the big and little voices count. Will there be enough time to do it all? Probably not, but let’s try! Also keep an eye open for all the exciting events taking place outside the Conference venue for the duration of this week; I have highlighted a few below:



Sunday 17-22 July, visit the BEER HALL RIVERTOWN AIDS CONFERENCE ACTIVATIONS at 102 Florence Nzama Road, for a week of activations in conjunction with the AIDS 2016 Conference. Amazing live local music / coffee / local food vendors / drink specials / exhibitions / live art / movies / photo booth / workshop space / tours and more. Every day from 10:00-22:00. And don’t forget to pop in to see the Durban Centre of Photography’s Ngale exhibition!

Monday 18 July 2016, 17:30 till Monday 25 July 2016, 16:00: Art for Humanity are hosting ‘BREAK THE SILENCE PRINT PORTFOLIO EXHIBITION’ at The Durban University of Technology (DUT) Art Gallery, located on the Steve Biko Campus in the Cecil Renaud Theatre, above the Library. The exhibition ‘Break the Silence Print Portfolio’ showcases original prints by Judith Mason, Sue Williamson, Diane Victor, Chris Diedericks, Kim Berman and Judy Woodborne to name a few.

Monday 18 July to Friday 22 July: LIVE ENTERTAINMENT and culinary treats feature at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga. Every day this week, at The Palm Court – enjoy a lavish, TRADITIONAL HIGH TEA daily from 14h30-17h00 accompanied by live piano entertainment. An hour and a half later, at The Oyster Bar, from 18h30-21h30, you can relax to the SULTRY SOUNDS OF WALLACE NOCK as he performs on guitar, keys, drums, three different saxophones and vocals.

Duration of Conference week to 5 August: Visit the phenomenal exhibition CARTOONS FOR FREEDOM at the Alliance Francaise from 09:00-17:00 daily. The brush is indeed mightier than the sword as The Institut Français in Paris in collaboration with the Institut Français in South Africa and Courier international, the weekly French newspaper, presents press cartoons by artists from all over the world that highlight and encourage debate around a number of ‘freedom of expression’ themes.


Tuesday 19 July 2016, 21:00: Mingle with HIV/AIDS role players at the much-anticipated ALLIANCE FRANCAISE COCKTAIL EVENING, at 22 Sutton Crescent, corner Lilian Ngoyi (Windermere) Road.



Join aspiring philosophers, dreamers, romantics, story-tellers, comics and revolutionaries at this weekly LIVE POETRY sessions which is described as “A poetic fusion of young minds of mix creed, gender and race looking for a platform for expression during these troubled times of international feuds and epidemic outbreaks.” The venue is the Functions Room at the BAT Centre, 17h30 – 19h30.



Suncoast’s free YOGA sessions are open to everyone and cater for all levels – from beginner to advanced. All classes are guided by a qualified and experienced instructor. The sessions are held every Thursday from 5.00pm to 6.00pm. For directions to your afternoon class, call 031 201 8585.

THURSDAYS IN BLACK: This South African campaign was launched by the Diakonia Council of Churches during the 16 Days of Activism Campaign at the end of 2008, and is an ongoing drive to raise awareness and encourage people to work towards a world without rape and violence against women and children.

Want to let off some steam? Join the LUNGILE HEALTH TRAIL RUN/WALK which offers FREE and Fun trails in Durban. The group caters for all levels of fitness and has 3- 5 different walking and running groups. We meet at 3 different locations every Thursday at 5:30pm and enjoy the Trails in and around Durban. To get more info and receive directions to the next trail go to www.lungilehealth.com and register on the right hand side of the page. Free and open to everyone!



Join the Durban DJEMBE DRUMMING CIRCLE’s ‘Beginners Session’ every Friday, starting at 18h30 and 20h00, and again on Sunday afternoons from 15h30 and 17h30.Find them at The Drumshack, housed within the Stables Lifestyle Market Complex, 9 Jacko Jackson Drive, near the Moses Mabida Stadium. Any enquiries or advance bookings can be made with Jonathan Pimenta on 0813419216 or 0837044879.


Enjoy THE DEAD TRENDS & ROSS CHARLES LIVE UNPLUGGED on Saturday night in the Blue Dolphin Bar at the Blue Waters Hotel, starting at 18:00. Every Saturday Blue Dolphin bar at the Blue Waters Hotel and Squeaky Takkie Productions host LIVE Unplugged – a 2 hour music show featuring Durban’s finest musicians! This weeks’ feature is a Rock invasion with The Dead Trends Duo and Ross Charles!

Every Saturday the ESSENWOOD CRAFT MARKET proves to be a firm weekend favourite. Expect a wonderful collection of African curios, arts & crafts, unique designs of hand crafted jewellery and other items of interests to the keen eye, up-to-date crafting trends and fashion clothing, just to mention a few. Visiting us is definitely a must. Bring the whole family along.  Since the paving of the market area, Essenwood Market is now pram and wheelchair friendly as well and visitors can find parking in Essenwood, St Thomas, Berea Park and Sydenham Roads with Car Guards on site.