The Batala History
Batala South Africa is part of a larger Batala family created in 1997 by Giba Gonçalves. Born and raised in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil, Giba was living in Paris when he first had the idea for the band. Open to anyone with an interest in learning the samba-reggae beat, the band started off with 60 people.
From Paris it spread to other cities in France, Belgium and the United Kingdom, amonst others. In 2003, the band finally made its way back to its origins, brought to Brazil by Paulo Garcia, also the founder of the Portsmouth Batala. Composer and musical director, Giba enlisted the help of friends from the bands and from Salvador in order to create the visual identity of the band. The instruments and clothings are all manufactured in Salvador, Bahia, where the band has a social program that gives jobs to many families. From there they are shipped to the bands around the world.
In 2009, the newest branch of the Batala band was created in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In South Africa the main aim of our band is to be racially and socially inclusive, as well as gender-inclusive. In this sense, we fully incentivise all types of people to be part of BATALA, especially those low-income youth that may find in the percussion music an outlet for self-expression, abandonment of drugs, social integration and, why not, a professional career as musicians and dancers!!!
SERVICES PROVIDED AS BATALA COUNTERPART TO THE COMMUNITY
* Free Percussion classes for anyone.
*Monthly open space presentations.
*Performances in HUMAN RIGHTS campaigns, shows and events (HIV/AIDS prevention, racial integration etc), in partnership with local, provincial and national government, NGOs and UN agencies.