Tutu’s birthday promotes SA tourism

Some of the most respected names in arts and entertainment have arrived in South Africa and will join in celebrating one of the nation’s most beloved heroes, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The delegation, sponsored in part by South African Tourism in partnership with South African Airways, includes some of America’s most talented and committed performing artists.

These participating artists, who are founders, board members and core supporters of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA) include Alfre Woodard, Samuel L. Jackson (to arrive shortly), LaTanya Richardson Jackson, CCH Pounder and Jurnee Smollett. Also traveling with the ANSA delegation are Carlos and Deborah Santana, and their family, who are founders of ANSA’s Amandla AIDS Fund.

Over the course of the ten-day journey, the artists will visit some of South Africa’s remarkable historical sites; striking natural wonders; diverse cities, townships and rural areas; and highly effective nonprofit organizations dedicated to ensuring a brighter future for the nation. The delegation will have a private tour of Robben Island with ANSA’s leading advisor Ahmed Kathrada, who was arrested and imprisoned with Mr. Mandela, and of the Constitutional Court with ANSA longtime friend Justice Albie Sachs. They will experience the vibrant South African cultural scene through meeting with a number of their fellow artists and witnessing special performances. They will also attend a gala 75th birthday celebration for Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who is the chair of ANSA’s Amandla AIDS Fund. The visiting artists and ANSA recently produced his US birthday celebration:

“We are honored to work hand-in-hand with ANSA to bring this remarkably talented and committed group of artists to South Africa,” said Dr. Felicia Suttle, President, South African Tourism-USA. “ANSA is proof of what can be accomplished when people like these are willing to come together to make a difference in the lives of millions. All of us as South Africans are thankful for the role they played in the anti-apartheid movement. Now we are proud to be working with them to encourage people around the world to come visit the new democratic South Africa,” said Suttle. “Alfre Woodard, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and CCH Pounder all have visited our beautiful shores before and we are thrilled they have returned. We are so happy that Jurnee Smollett and the Santanas are here for the first time. We welcome them all and look forward to sharing the extraordinary South African experience with them.”

Artists for a New South Africa is a U.S. non-profit organization that harnesses the talents, visibility and resources of artists to increase awareness, raise money and mobilize action in South Africa and America to combat HIV/AIDS, prejudice and poverty, advance and protect civil and voting rights, and educated and empower youth. Founded in 1989 by Alfre Woodard, Danny Glover, Blair Underwood, Mary Steenburgen, CCH Pounder, Robert Guillaume and friends to support South Africa’s struggle against apartheid, ANSA remains dedicated to working in consultation and partnership with South African experts, activists and leaders to support effective local solutions. In the past 10 years alone, ANSA has raised over $8 million (US) for South African NGOs, shipped more than 70 tons of medical supplies and books to disadvantaged communities and helped educate millions across South Africa, the US and the African continent about HIV/AIDS and voting rights. For more information on ANSA, visit www.ansafrica.org .