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Maskandi fest comes to Bulawayo

by Staff reporter
04 Sep 2019 at 08:26hrs | Views
FOR local traditional music lovers, September will be memorable as the Azibuye Emasikweni maskandi festival takes Matabeleland by storm.

The festival, which had been brought to a halt for over two years since its inception in 2016, kicked off at Bambanani Business Centre in Esigodini on Saturday.

It will be wrapped up at Cowdray Park terminus in Bulawayo this Friday and is being held to give locals a feel of South Africa's KwaZulu Natal reposed genre.

Aptly dubbed "Maskandi Emuntwini Movement", revellers were on Saturday afternoon treated to performances from South Africa-based Zimbabwe-born maskandi artistes who thrilled crowds.

An array of over 30 artistes took turns to dish out exceptional performances. With Madlela Skhobokhobo and Babongile Skhonjwa being the master of ceremonies, many felt the former should have given them a taste of the Ngamnanka usamaMo hit, but their request fell on deaf ears as the show was strictly for maskandi.

This Friday, the festival heads to Cowdray Park terminus with a massive line-up of 30 foreign-based and local maskandi stars.

These include South Africa-based Insukamini, Nicky S Iqhawekazi, Thamsanqa Ndlovu, Magulakunyiwa, Singenzani, Nkunz'emnyama, Iscefe SeKezi and Iqhitsha Mnkatsha.

They will be joined by locals Iqathanzipho, Bhamuza, Gazelimnyama, Bheki Mageza, Inqamebomvu, Indwangenkulu, Thethela Dube, Qophamlando, Inglamuva, Tshwalabenyoni, Zimhlophe, Funokwakhe and Mdumiseni.

One of the event organisers, Chris Ncube, said festival goers in Bulawayo are in for a treat as the KwaZulu-Natal originating genre is penetrating the Matabeleland region in a forceful way. He said other than providing entertainment, the festival is meant to popularise artistes who uphold traditional values.

"Maskandi music is on demand from all corners of the country currently hence why we're holding this festival to also give the local maskandi musicians a platform to showcase their talent," said Ncube. Himself a maskandi musician, Ncube said it is his wish to see the young generation popularising tradition through music.

"The festival will also go a long way in encouraging young artistes to take up maskandi and popularise it in their own teenage-like way," he said.

Ncube commended omalayitsha (cross border transporters) who have played a pivotal role in embracing maskandi as they constantly play the music while transporting people to and from South Africa daily.

Source - chronicle