Five-time Grammy Award-winning and internationally acclaimed music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo has promised a performance of a lifetime at this year’s Buyel’ Ekhaya Pan-African Music Festival.
Mambazo will headline next weekend’s 10th anniversary of the cultural festival at the Buffalo Cricket Stadium in East London.
The festival, which has grown in leaps and bounds over the years, is popular among music fans. It usually becomes the highlight event for many who return to the Eastern Cape for the December holidays.
The festival was founded by Nomahlubi Mazwai in 2009 and since then it has featured some of the most decorated names in the music business internationally and some of the nation’s leading music brand names.
This year’s showpiece next Sunday will be preceded by a fashion show on Friday to showcase the work of up-and-coming fashion designers from the provinces.
Sunday’s music line-up includes Vusi Nova, Jonas Gwangwa, Sjava, Zahara, Busiswa, Sun-EL, Shekhinah, Mobi Dixon, Prince Kaybee and Moonchild Sanelly.
Albert Mazibuko, a member of Mambazo, said the group was excited to be taking part in this year’s festival.
“The last time we were there, we had a great time. And even the theme is very significant for us because it calls on all of us to go back home [Buyel’ Ekhaya]. We believe that as people we should always be connected to our roots.
“Our supporters can look forward to a performance that will really be out of this world. We will make sure we perform all the songs they love and give them a showstopper performance,” said Mazibuko.
He said their performance would also celebrate the centenary of former president Nelson Mandela.
“Those songs that speak about Madiba and the history of the country will form part of our performance.”
Another group member, Sibongiseni Shabalala, said they have always ensured their music carries a positive message and this is what East Londoners should expect.
“Our music carries hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We always try to compose songs that are relevant to present-day happenings,” Shabalala said.
He said they too related to the concept of Buyel’ Ekhaya because they travel overseas for more than six months at times but they never forget home.
On the fashion side South African young designers Gert-Johan Coetzee, Linda Sithole, Sonwabile Ndamase, Andiswa Manxiwa and Joyce Chimanye Zuvva will showcase their garments at Hemingways Mall in East London to inspire up-and-coming fashion designers, who will get the chance to be mentored by the best in the industry.