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Bayethe Maskandi Festival an eye opener

Local arts promoters, Bayethe Music Promotions last week held their maiden Maskandi Festival where more than 30 Zimbabwean maskandi groups based in South Africa took part.


Maskandi outfit, Amathoba Nhliziyo prepares to take to the stage at the Maskandi Festival
Maskandi outfit, Amathoba Nhliziyo prepares to take to the stage at the Maskandi Festival

The event took place at Alec Goschel Park in Berea, Johannesburg.

According to the organisers, the aim of the festival was to bring the good works of maskandi artists to the public as well as market and promote them.

Head of promotions at Bayethe Music Promotions, Mchasiseli Gwaza told The Standard Style last week that the show would be an annual event as they seek to promote Zimbabwean artists based in South Africa “since most of them do not get airplay on radio stations.”

“Music only sells to people who have heard it, so this festival is a platform to make people hear the different artists we have,” he said.

“We hope what we started is just an eye opener and it will be a good trade showcase for our artists. During the event, artists who performed and the public benefitted a lot. We also had potential sponsors who are willing to assist some of the artists. We also invited various radio stations to be part of the festival.”

Gwaza said they were trying to fill the vacuum left by Mthwakazi Maskandi Festival which was held in Johannesburg every year.

“A similar festival used to be organised by a group of volunteers but for certain reasons they said they will not be able to hold it this year. As a music promotions company, we have decided we can’t let the year just go by,” he said.

“So we have decided to hold our own festival beginning this year.”

Some of the groups that took part included Insukamini, Amathoba Nhliziyo, Amachwane amahle, Zinja Ziyamluma, Amabhanoyi, Thawulo Skhuza, Abafana BakaLobengula, Ikhwezelihle, Kabelo Mzilikazi Ubhejane Obomvu, Insikabayishiye, Thamsanqa and Phumasilwe.

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