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

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 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.

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.,, 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 or at the theatre. For block bookings, contact Anthony Ezeoke on 011 832 1641 ext 121 or Ncebakazi Thintsila 011 832 1641 ext 135.

Idols search starts this weekend

Proverb 17As the rat race is back in full force from today, unknown and wanna-be professional singers from around the country are also gearing to make a mark in the entertainment world through the country’s biggest singing competition that kicks off this weekend.

Auditions for this year’s “Idols SA” competition kick off at Cape Town’s GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World on Saturday, 14th January. The search then moves on to Pretoria’s State Theatre the following Saturday, Durban’s Play house on 28th January, with the last chance to be part of the show being offered at Carnival City on 4th February.

The forthcoming season comes after Season 12 shattered records with over 80 Million votes cast last year, and Noma walking away with the title. It will also showcase a change in the judges’ panel after Gareth Cliff resigned from the show last year. Guest judges will join Somizi, Unathi Msengana, Randal Abrahams and presenter/producer Proverb (pictured) during the auditions sessions.

The winner will also join the exciting list of winners that include Season 1’s Heinz Winckler, to Brandon October, Elvis Blue and Lloyd Cele (who both won SAMAs in 2012) to Khaya Mthetwa (who walked away with his first SAMA for his debut album, Move), and last year's winner Karabo Mogane (who became the first person in Africa to lend his voice to a Disney theme.

 For more details, check out the official “Idols SA” website at