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Shwekey lights up the night

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JORDAN MOSHE

Taking to the stage at Carnival City’s Big Top Arena, he danced, sang, and inspired an audience of more than 3 000 energetic Jews who could not get enough of him.

“I have been blessed with an opportunity to be part of a music that makes a difference in people’s lives,” said Shwekey. The difference he made was felt by all present.

Performing a variety of his most famous and popular hits, the artist energised and moved his rapt audience throughout the evening. From classic numbers such as Im Eshkachech and Vehi She’Amda, to the Mizrachi marvel Ra’u Banim, Shwekey treated the audience to the songs they know and love.

He also shared some unique arrangements performed in other concerts. These included the signature Soldiers’ Medley, a deftly crafted musical masterpiece that paid tribute to Israel’s protectors and left the audience spellbound.

He delivered messages of inspiration, encouragement, and confidence throughout the evening. English songs, This is Your Time, and We are a Miracle, along with the hit Am Yisrael Lo Lefached ensured that every person felt proud to be an individual, and part of the Jewish nation.

Not a dry eye could be seen when he performed one of his latest songs, A Mother’s Prayer, in honour of all parents and the roles they play in the lives of their children.

In the second half of the performance, the audience’s energy reached a crescendo, and a growing crowd of youth rushed to the foot of the stage. They danced and sang along as the music rose to fever-pitch with, Tadlik et Ha’Esh, and Kol Haneshama.

A cry of, “We love you, Yaakov Shewkey!” reverberated around the room from someone in audience, to which Shwekey responded with sincerity, “The same here, my friend!” Reaching down to high-five his eager fans, Shwekey encouraged them to sing as loudly as they could, even holding out his microphone to them so that their voices could be heard.

“Music like this,” said Shwekey, “delivers a message of joy, even at times when things are not good. It’s easy to sing when things are good. The hardest is to have faith when it’s dark. That’s when we need to sing the loudest. The sounds of struggle write the songs.”

After almost three hours of music and dance, Shwekey brought the evening to a close with a moving rendition of One Heart, celebrating the sense of unity which defines the Jewish people. He finished with a special message for his Johannesburg fans, saying, “You guys are unbelievable, South Africa! We’re all one family, all one heart! I wish you all a shana tova umetuka!”

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