Pretoria’s central correctional centre is located on a street that a regular GPS would not be able recognise, and although the high walls and steel doors are disarming it almost feels like a community of its own. The female section is found on the far right side, isolated and seemingly small with maze-like corridors. Patrolling female guards were the first to offer a warm welcome… along with the inmates waiting at an exit I was approaching. The warm, controlled and approachable environment was a pleasant surprise and the aura was evident enough to have been caught by the Soul Candi crew as the band seemed giddy throughout their sound check.
In celebration of Women’s Month, the house band, Mi Casa, set off to remind the incarcerated women of our country that they, too, are appreciated. In this, they entertained the navy and white wearing crowd who’s assembled before them in what seemed like a down time basketball court. Among the inmates were female guards, who were as ecstatic about the band’s presence.
“The end was almost surreal; as I had shared with, sang, conversed and slightly flirted with incarcerated women and their facilitators, yet left feeling so fulfilled.”
The performance started with multiple introductions, first from an appreciative guard, and then individual band member… as MO-T mentioned the name of an inmate that saved his life. The band commenced with performances of past singles while the women danced. The dancing was the only thing uncontainable, as chairs were eventually used as platforms on which to showcase their skill.
The performance lasted an approximate 30 minutes, yet the inmates were not ready to say goodbye; so a called for Mi Casa to perform their first single from their latest Album, Su Casa, before leaving the stage. The Soul Candi crew concluded with a gift to women living with infants along with photo and autograph opportunities.
The end was almost surreal; as I had shared with, sang, conversed and slightly flirted with incarcerated women and their facilitators, yet left feeling so fulfilled. On talking to some of the band members afterwards it was evident they shared the same sentiments. The feeling of appreciation and fulfilment meant that one of the band members looked upon the performance as his favourite.
Find Mi Casa online at http://www.micasamusic.com/.