Singers Kelly Price and Estelle will join comedian and television host Steve Harvey, civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton and fitness expert Shaun T at the inaugural Essence Festival Durban in South Africa.
Organizers on Thursday announced participants for the Nov. 8-13 event at the International Convention Center and the Moses Mabhida Stadium. As the sister event to the annual Essence Festival New Orleans, Essence Festival Durban also will include local performers record producer and DJ Black Coffee, actress and singer Nondumiso Tembe, kwaito group Big Nuz, Wololo hitmaker Babes Wodumo, Fuse Academy co-founder DJ Zinhle and Afro-jazz musician Thandiswa Mazwai.
“This inaugural Essence Festival Durban will bring together voices of influence and power from the continent of Africa, the United States and around the globe to connect communities and empower women,” Essence President Michelle Ebanks said in a statement.
Harvey said he’s participating to help draw attention to trade and business opportunities between the U.S. and African nations.
Durban’s mayor, Zandile Gumede, said the city’s excited to play host. “The festival will provide an invaluable platform for businesses and artists to network and build relationships with international experts for locals to be globally competitive,” she said.
Gumede added that the city hopes to showcase its “cultural diversity, arts and heritage as well as business acumen to South Africa and the rest of the world.”
Price, Sharpton, Estelle, Shaun T and TV personality Phaedra Parks are among confirmed speakers for the festival’s free, daytime Empowerment Experience, which will offer such programming as a Money + Power Showcase, Beauty and Style Expo, Lifestyle and Wellness Experience and Essence Eats, showcasing celebrity chefs making their specialty dishes.
In addition, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Yolanda Adams will be honored during the event’s All-Star Gospel Tribute and will give a special closing weekend performance.
Additional appearances are to be announced soon.