Mango Groove to entertain fans At Large On The Lawn summer concert

Mango Groove group will perform at the Large on the Lawn summer concert in Golden Harvest Park. Photo: Supplied.

Claire Johnston of Mango Groove believes that she is a work in progress who admires and respects humility and humour and tries to learn from experience.

“I always knew I wanted to be in the arts and so it has always been a part of me,” she said explaining how she got into music.

“Given that I knew from about the age of three how much performing meant to me, I never really contemplated another career. At the age of 10, I was in the stage production of Annie, which toured around South Africa.”

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Johnston joined Mango Groove in her final year of school while going on to achieve a BA degree from Witwatersrand University, with her goal still to be on the stage and television screen.

Talking about her career, Johnston said it had been quite a ride.

“Mango Groove started as a multi-racial band in the mid-80s – a dark and desperate time for our country. I was a young white girl of 17 and the late Micky Vilikazi was a black man, aged 64.

This for me sums up what music is all about – it cuts through boundaries and connects people. With Mango Groove I have seen this over and over in the last 32 years,” Johnston said.

The musician said she would always cherish her performance at the 1994 inauguration of Nelson Mandela.

“We’ve done a lot of international travelling which has been amazing.

The handover of Hong Kong to China concert which we headlined and the Paris Rock Against Racism gig stand out,” Johnston said.

She will perform at the Large on the Lawn concert in Golden Harvest Park on 26 March.

“We are having so much fun onstage together, and the audience becomes the 12th member of the band, so prepare to get involved.”

Mango Groove and indie favourites Al Bairre will perform for the next installment at this Joburg Summer Concert Series.

Johnston said Special Star, released in 1989, sums up Mango Groove.

“It spoke to all South Africans and still seems to resonate. We are amazed, thrilled and humbled.”

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Phathu Luvhengo

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