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Salif Keita, AKA, Hugh Masekela, Mafikizolo, King Monada gather for Marula

Mafikizolo 17Limpopo Province is once again poised to receive high volumes of visitors during the 12th edition of the annual Limpopo Marula Festival, especially due to the wide variety and high quality of activities lined up for the event this year.  

The MEC for the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), Mr. Seaparo Sekoati, launched the event on Friday, 13th January 2017 at the Amarula Lapa in Phalaborwa, much to the excitement of stakeholders and the media that were present, announcing that this year, the event boast artists like Salif Keita, Hugh Masekela, AKA, Mafikizolo (pictured), King Monada and many more. Revellers should brace themselves for a thriller and a much improved 2017 Limpopo Marula Festival, all thanks to a remarkable and enticing programme.  

Entertainment highlights for the Kwaito & Hip-Hop Festival that will take place on 25 February 2017 include talent heavy weights and award-winning artists like AKA, Jabba, Thebe, Bricks, DJ Ganyani, the legendary Mdu Masilela, Cappacino, Complexion, Darque and many more. The festival will culminate in the Gospel and Jazz open air concert that will feature the world renowned musician Salif Keita, Bra Hugh Masekela, Mafikizolo, Penny, Joe Shirimani, King Monada, Benjamin Dube, Worship House, Brothers of Peace, Trompies and Candy (Tsamandebele) amongst others. There will be an exciting line-up of local provincial talent in the form of artists and DJs that will contribute to the success of the concerts.     

As was the case in previous years, 13 co-operatives under Mukumbi Industries, will brew        12 000 liters of the marula beverage, which will be consumed by the public during the festival. This initiative goes a long way in generating much needed finances for the municipality and the local community. 

With international guests from Cuba, Venezuela, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Angola and Namibia, the festival is aimed at developing a sustainable local economy through various models of development of the marula industry and the value-chain that can benefit the local communities. Thus, the event has surpassed being merely a festival and has developed into the Marula Industry Programme.  It is a partnership of several stakeholders like SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency), Limpopo Tourism Agency, Limpopo Economic Development Agency, Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality, Mopani District Municipality, Office of the Premier, Limpopo Department of Sport, Arts & Culture, National Department of Arts and Culture, the Phalaborwa Tourism Association and the Kruger National Park. 

The Limpopo Marula Festival is a drawcard that attracts domestic, regional and international tourists to Limpopo during the Marula season, which officially begins in January and ends in April each year. To develop the festival as a marketable brand for Limpopo, a fact-finding mission was carried out to the Munich Oktoberfest in Germany, an endeavour that will enhance knowledge and skills on the manner in which festivals can successfully be hosted in a sustainable manner.  

Beyond the first decade of the Marula Festival, the department’s initiatives will extend into the establishment of the Limpopo Marula Industry Hub, which is meant to beneficiate marula all year round, providing employment opportunities for the local communities, including co-operatives and other small businesses.  

Over the years, the Limpopo Marula Festival has grown into a sought-after brand the world over. It was imperative, at the time, that the Limpopo Provincial Government identifies a permanent venue for the implementation of the Marula Industry Programme, which culminates in the annual festival; a venue around which a strong and authentic brand could be developed and one that the people of Limpopo can proudly identify.

 

The Festival of the First Fruit, which is the ceremonial tasting of the first fruit hosted by the Traditional leadership of various communities, will mark the official opening of marula month. The MEC of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Ms. Onicca Moloi, will presided over the provincial build-up event, Ku Luma Vukanyi/Ku Luma Nguva/Go Loma Morula, which will took place at Dzata Museum in the Vhembe District on Saturday, 04 February.  

This year’s bumper line-up of activities began with the Street Parade on Friday, 24th February 2017, during which the usually quiet streets of the town of Phalaborwa will be alive with the dance and delight of colourful cultural groups, including the South African National Defence Force. This will be followed by a host of activities lined up by various organizers and stakeholders. 

Tickets for both open air concerts will be available at Computicket at the highly subsidized amount of R150. Limpopo Marula Festival packages are also available on the festival website.

 

For more information, events and activities visit www.limpopomarulafest.co.za

Lundi loses fight and dies

Lundi 2017fPopular and sometimes contentious gospel star Lundi Tyamara (38) has passed away.

The perky star of “Mphefumulo wami” and “Ndixolele” passed away after 12midnite after four weeks in a Johannesburg health facility as he was fighting a stomach TB and a liver condition. On Monday he was moved into high care as his condition worsened.

This comes after management, family and friends reached out to South Africans and asked for prayers for the talented gospel star some two days ago. A prayer session was held yesterday.

“We appreciate the hardwork and the care that the nursing and medical staff at the hospital has been putting in for his recovery,” said MD of ME Media and Lundi’s manager, Anele Hlazo in a statement on Wednesday on behalf of the family in asking his fans, supporters, followers, well-wishers and the general public to keep praying for his healing as his condition remained worryingly critical. “We are also thankful for the outpouring of support from all quarters of the South African society and our neighbouring countries.”

“We believe that through God's grace he will pull through. He may not be doing well right now, but he is a fighter." He however lost the fight in the early hours of the morning.

Speaking on radio this morning, the manager said the star was not in pain, but he was in suffering. The star’s body will be “moved home in Worcester” soon.

Plans for his memorial service and funeral will be announced soon.

"Girls are killing it"

sOMIZI LIVING 16FAs Pretoria is gearing to host hordes of wanna-be "Idols-SA" singers, the new season auditions for Idols 13 got off to a fierce start as girls ruled over boys at the Cape Town auditions this week.

Hundreds of aspiring singers lined the corridors of GrandWest Casino to take their chance in front of the show’s legendary judges Randall Abrahams, Unathi Msengana, Somizi Mhlongo (pictured) and guest judge, R&B crooner Donald. Some were armed with notebooks scribbled with lyrics, others relied on their cellphone recordings, and all were warming up in every available space from bathrooms to passageways.

Still, the talent harvest proved to be slim pickings as the judges handed over only 12 Golden Tickets and three Golden Discs. The Golden Discs are a new addition to Idols South Africa, where each judge holds one disc in each region that they can gift a contestant as a pass through to Theatre Week, vetoing any other vote. The final golden tally saw 12 girls and three boys from the Mother City make it through to Theatre Week, set to take place at the end of February.

“The girls are killing it in Cape Town,” asserted Somizi. Of course this comes after Noma represented the fairer sex by winning the contest last year.

Guest judge Donald said he was impressed by the talent they had picked out. “The talent was really good. I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get more contestants as I expected better. But those who did make it through were very impressive,” he said.

Donald described his first turn on the Idols SA judging table as “mind blowing”.

“This was one of the best experiences of my life. I’m a sucker for talent, and this just opened me up to the talent we have in our country. I loved being a guest judge on Idols SA.”

The roadshow will move to Pretoria at the State Theatre on Saturday, 21 January, where a surprise guest judge awaits the eager crowds. It remains to be seen whether the capital city will lead in the number of Golden Ticket winners again this year.

This will be followed by auditions at Durban’s Playhouse on 27 January before concluding at Joburg’s Carnival City on 04 February.

For now, Donald had advice for those heading off to Theatre Week. “Commitment, commitment, commitment…that is what’s going to take you far. Bring your fighting spirit because only those who really want it will make it through. It’s going to be rough.”

Entry is free and open to all South African citizens who are between 16 and 30 years old on the date of their first audition. Don’t forget to bring your ID document to the audition, and minors need a written consent signed by a parent or guardian. All the Idols SA XIII audition details can also be found on the official Idols SA website at www.mnet.co.za/idolssa.

Amanda Black leads MMA’s/Gospel artist set to make history

Amanda Black 17fGospel Star Lebo Sekgobela is looking to emulate the late Sfiso Ncwane (first gospel winner of the SAMA winner of the Record of the year) by winning the Song of The Year Award at this year’s Metro FM Music Awards’ (#MMA16).

The gospel name who surprised many when her track “Lion of Judah” topped the Metro FM Top 40 is up against names like Babes Wodumo (“Wololo”), Dr. Malinga (“Akulaleki”), Robbie Malinga & Musa (“Mthande”), Nasty C (Hell now”, King Monada (“Sekabora moreki”), Durban’s Finest, ft. Professor,  Amanda Black (Amazulu”, Black Motion (“Imali”), and Kwesta (“Ngudu”) for the prestigious award. The Best top 5 hit single is also hot with City Lyts - Vura, Riky Rick - Sidlukotini, AKA - One Time, Ms Pru - Ameni, and DJ Speedsta – Mayo vying for the award. She is also vying for the Top 5 female, and Urban Gospel Album awards with hr album “Restored”.

However, it is Amanda Black (pictured) who showed the competition dust and leads this year’s list with five nominations. Hoping to be biggest winner this year and taking home the R100 000 for each category, she is nominated for Best top 5 Female album, New albums, African pop albums, Best Single and R&B single awards.

‘Queen of Gqom’ Babes Wodumo is right behind with four at this year’s awards. These include Female, new artist, Dance albums, and the previously mentioned award.

Other multiple nominees include Nasty C, Brenda Mntabo, Robbie Malinga, Musa, Durban’s Finest, DJ Speedsta, Kwesta, Mobi Dixon, Soul Kulture and Thee Legacy. The latter picked up two nominations in the Best top 5 remixes for their tracks “Wena Wedwa” (Remix) and “Thee Legacy “S’thandwa Sami” Remix

The 16th edition of the Metro FM Music Awards is themed ‘What’s Next Is All That Matters,’ building on last year’s theme, ‘Legends Don’t Stop, They Ask What’s Next’. The theme indicates that it’s not just about getting that hit song play-listed on Metro FM, it’s not about finishing off a great album and it’s not about having a great video to go with your track, but about what you do next to continue building on your glories.

The #MMA16 will be held in Durban at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli ICC on Saturday 25 February 2017.

Voters can cast their votes in the Album category that includes Best African Pop Album, Best Compilation album, Best Dance Album, Best Duo/Group Album, Best Female Album, Best Hip Hop Album, Best Kwaito Album, Best Male Album, Best New Artist, Best Urban Gospel Album, Best Urban Jazz Album, and Song of the Year 2016. The single categories are Best Hit Single, Best R&B Single, Best Collaboration, Best Music Video, and Best Remix. Voting lines opened at 12am until 12 February at 11.59pm. To vote dial *120*1512# & follow the instructions. Only 500 votes per number (per cellphone) will be eligible to vote in each category. #MMA16. USSD rates apply.

MMA16 Special Awards including Best Styled Artist/Group, Best Produced Album, Listeners Choice (Artist/Group) and One Africa Award can only be voted for online on www.metrofmmusicawards.co.za or via www.metrofm.co.za. The receiver of the Lifetime Achiever Award will be chosen by the station.

K.O launches clothing line

KO 17 clothing lineAfter the success of the Cashtime Life Merchandise that can be seen everywhere, Mr Cashtime, K.O, has decided to start his own full on clothing label, and not just an artist merchandise line.

This is a full on street wear clothing label called DustnKOmpany. It is called dust “because we are from the dusty streets of Townships, South Africa and KOmpany because well… KO”.

This follows the 2014 release of the Cashtime merchandise line that comprised mainly of t-shirts and sporties (bucket hats). The range was quickly sold out and the production output was far outweighed by the consumer/fan demand. Soon enough the pirates and bootleggers showed up and the merchandise became the most pirated brand on the continent. Fake Cashtime Life clothing was everywhere from Angola to Zambia.  

According to a release from Cashtime, “K.O is seen by many as a trendsetter and the streets often refer to him as ‘Mr. swagger of the season’ or ‘Iskhothane se rap’ so it is only fitting that he starts a clothing label.” 

“The clothing line is inspired by my patriotic obsession with SA culture and of cause the aesthetics of my music,” says the rapper of “Caracara” fame. “I figured it was only logical for me to create my own range seeing that I've managed to create fashion trends in the urban space with an ensemble of various other brands. It’s just time for us to do for self and to use that influence to empower us.” 

DustnKOmpany’s first offering is the ‘caricature long sleeve tees’ and are available at www.dustnkompany.com / Fashion Kraal (30 Loveday Street, JHB) and www.fashionkraal.co.za or by direct order via WhatsApp on 063739344   

Donald joins Idols SA judges panel

Donald 2017Unlike the media buzz that has informed the public that Kelly Khumalo will be the fourth “Idols SA” judge this season, it is Donald (pictured) who is coming out for the Cape Town “Idols” auditions.

The “In denial/Unpredictable/I deserve” fame singer will be joining the much-loved and equally feared panel of judges comprised of Randall Abrahams, Unathi Msengana and Somizi Mhlongo. Donald also did selection duties for deserving talent that joined top SA names at Rustenberg's 'DStv I Rock Festival' last year with Mobi Dixon. This is after the departure of long time judge Gareth Cliff last year.

Kelly of “Asine” fame will however come out for the Jo’burg leg of the auditions. Kelly is no stranger to Idols, as she was a mentor as well as a duet partner last year.

“As for Durban and Pretoria, we are keeping mum on who will be guest judges there,” says Mzansi Magic’s Head of Reality, Sphumelele Sibeko, who has promised some titillating on-site revelations as part of the revamped “Idols SA”. “But rest assured South Africa, the buzz and suspense will be worth it.”

On Saturday, 14 January, the GrandWest Casino will be the place for aspiring pop stars coming to audition for their shot at fame and fortune. Will someone in the queue follow in Tebogo Louw’s (2015 runner-up) footsteps and even surpass him? Only time will tell.

The next stop will be the capital city Tshwane (Gauteng) on Saturday, 21 January. Durban (…Season 12 saw no less than four contestants from KZN making it to the Top 10, with ultimate winner Noma Khumalo shining the spotlight on the province) follows on 28th January at Playhouse Theatre, with the final call at Carnival City on 04th February.

Entry is free and open to all South African citizens who are between 16 and 30 years old on the date of their first audition. If you want a shot at impressing the judges, remember to bring your ID document to the audition, and minors must have written consent signed by a parent or guardian.

All the Idols SA XII audition details can also be found on the official Idols SA website at www.mnet.co.za/idolssa.

Mandela lives on through song

Mandela Song ConcordA new collaboration by bassist Concord Nkabinde (pictured left) and David Klassen (right) sees the two South African creative artists dig deep into their collective years of musical performance and production to deliver a performance that re-visits the essence and depth found in the words of Tata Nelson Mandela.

“NELSON MANDELA – The Song Lives On” is a public concert that marries the well-known sound of Madiba’s voice with live music and spoken word. This production seeks to ensure that the impact created by the words of power, love, courage and healing that Madiba left us with, last for generations to come.

Along with Klassen, Nkabinde has invited three well-established and respected Cape Town-based artists to collaborate on this concert; Mark Fransman (middle), a highly accomplished saxophonist, pianist, flautist, vocalist, composer and music educator; the award-winning Nomfundo Xaluva (2nd from left), a dynamic new voice in the music scene, who is also a pianist, composer and music educator; and Bulelwa Basse (2nd from right), a prolific performance poet, language facilitator, speaker and community builder.

In the words of South Africa’s former president himself; “Music is a great blessing. It has the power to elevate and liberate us. It sets people free to dream. It can unite us to sing with one voice. Such is the value of music.”

On 22 January 2017, forming part of the Oude Libertas Summer Season, Nkabinde and Klassen will present this work that carefully and respectively interweaves new compositions as well as existing songs with an audio-visual presentation. Suitable for all ages, this concert promises to be a special experience, one that carries history lessons from South Africa’s past whilst inspiring us to work together to create a future of bright possibilities.

The result of this collaboration is a concoction of different musical styles, well-thought out musical compositions and arrangements, expertly glued together by moments of improvisation. This five-piece outfit will deliver an experience that will remain in the hearts and minds of many, for years to come.

“This will be just as exciting for the audience as it will be for us, as together we re-examine the words and ideals of an Icon,” adds Nkabinde.

Klassen shares his sentiments on the project; “I am excited about it. It’s got meaning and purpose. We are honoring the values and humanitarian ideals of a man who deserves to be honored in this manner.”

In the development of the content of this project, interaction and counsel from the Nelson Mandela Foundation as well as the UWC Robben Island Mayibuye Archives has ensured a holistic way forward. While renowned photographers, Siphiwe Mhlambi and Mark Wessels provided amazing images that have added depth to this production.

Tickets are R180 at Computicket. Click here for more http://online.computicket.com/web/event/nelson_mandela_the_song_lives_on/1080809535/0/75652706. Follow the event online with the hashtag #mandelasongliveson.

Bassline closes its doors, opens new chapter

The Soil 17It's a brand new year and time for the Bassline to say goodbye to its current venue in Newtown, like they did from their Melville premises, Johannesburg and proudly rebrand as BASSLINE LIVE. 

BASSLINE LIVE is the new incarnation and is now a full service music industry service provider and would like to thank everyone that's become a loyal supporter over the last 22 years. This includes the opening of the BASSLINE LIVE artist management division, and have already signed up two of South Africa's most exciting performers, namely Vusi Mahlasela and Nakhane Toure (voice on Black Coffee’s “We dance again”) . We are especially excited

Owner Brad Holmes had this to say; "We couldn't be more excited to start this new chapter in Bassline's history. We are committed to bringing you the greatest in live shows, artists and festivals as we embark on this new phase in the Bassline's journey."

As has been a traditional at the closed venue, BASSLINE LIVE in partnership with Kaya FM presents THE SOIL - Live at The Lyric at Gold Reef City (BASLINE LIVE’s new venue). Bassline's closure meant that the Kaya FM's monthly Live @ The Bassline series that began in August 2015, had to find a new home, and “The Lyric at Gold Reef City was the natural choice. With a world-class theatre on board, Kaya FM were happy to extend the agreement with Bassline Live to produce a monthly series that will run throughout 2017.”

Sensational South African a-capella group THE SOIL (pictured) will kickstart the new year and a new Kaya FM Bassline music series when they perform at the new platform on Saturday 4th February 2017. The in-demand group recently grabbed headlines with their new album, “Echoes of Kofifi”, that shot past official Gold sales status (over 15 000 albums sold) three weeks after its release.

 Presented by Kaya FM and Bassline Live, the show will be proudly supported by Old Mutual as exclusive financial services partner. South African Breweries will also partner with Bassline Live for this show.  

 Tickets available from Computicket for R180, or at The Lyric at Gold Reef City box office at R200.  http://online.computicket.com/web/event/kaya_fm_bassline_live_presents_the_soil/1102562336/0/77074506.

Moreover, as well as bringing the greatest local and international artists onto our stages over the years, Bassline has also grown a strong reputation as leaders in concert production on a major scale. These events that include the Bassline Africa Day and Fete De La Musique are testament to the experience of the brand and such events will continue to be a major part of the 2017 roster. BASSLINE LIVE also offers full PA rig rentals consisting of front-of-house and monitor sound with backline and a lighting rig.

Make sure you stay on top of all of our news, and events by liking BAALINE LIVE on Facebook and following us on twitter or instagram. https://www.facebook.com/basslinejozi, http://www.bassline.co.za, instagram: basslinejozi

Sello Maake KaNcube depicts legendary figure

Sello Maake in House of truth 17Sello Maake Ka Ncube (“Scandal”, “The Lion King”, “Generations”) is gearing to honour the legendary journalist/author Can Themba at the Market Theatre.

The icon appears in the Market Theatre’s 2017 season opener at The Barney Simon @The Market Theatre, from tonight until 29 January, about the writer on a production called “The House of Truth”. The bio-play that premiered to rave reviews in 2016 at the National Arts Festival is written by Siphiwo Mahala, and directed by directed by Vanessa Cooke. Set to be followed by “The Suit”, which is Themba’s most famous work, it will launch a season of Themba’s works at the Market Theatre.

Laced with wit, humour and a deep sense of irony, the production reveals the circumstances that inspired some of Themba’s most intriguing works and covers some profound aspects of his life that are rarely written about. Themba’s complex life story, including his troubles with the Transvaal Department of Education which refused to recognise him as a qualified teacher although he had a degree, is interwoven with how he turned to journalism, rising through the ranks of Drum magazine to become an Assistant Editor, but without with any financial reward.

These frustrations are shared from his abode, “The House of Truth”, a single-room bachelor flat in Sophiatown in the 1950’s. It was Themba’s way of cocking a snook at snobbery, officialdom and anything that smacked of bureaucracy. Here he hosted candid debates where anyone, irrespective of race or social class, was welcomed to participate in intellectual engagement.

“This year we decided to celebrate Can Themba and Eskia Mphahlele, two writers who emerged from the 1950’s and who sat opposite each other in the Drum offices,” said James Ngcobo, the Market Theatre’s Artistic Director. “They were both prolific playwrights who, despite apartheid, covered everything from protest writing to love stories – it’s with this narrative that we have decided to celebrate the life and times of these giants.”

Themba would have turned 93 years in 2017, but died at 43. The Market Theatre’s 2017 programme has a strong element of celebrating this activist and literary genius. He is one of the most illustrious alumni of the century-old Fort Hare University. Other illustrious alumni of the university are Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Govan Mbeki and at least three African Heads of State: Seretse Khama (Botswana), Julius Nyerere (Tanzania) and Yusuf Lule (Uganda).

Book your tickets at www.webtickets.co.za or at the theatre. For block bookings, contact Anthony Ezeoke on 011 832 1641 ext 121 or Ncebakazi Thintsila 011 832 1641 ext 135.