For the first time in history, more than 20 traditional music artistes united to perform in Zandspruit on 15 September during WozaNezakhoMaskandi Festival to embrace the traditional celebrations of the heritage month.
Ezomnyovu and Music Entertainment (EME) hosted the festival. Traditional music fans from Zandspruit, Cosmo City, Diepsloot, Msawawa, and Lion Park attended the 9a.m to 8p.m. event. Artistes who performed included Umnyovu, UmgijimiWensizwa, InkunziUmaxebula, AmanxuswaAmahle, Umakhwaphenyoka, Ubasize, Bonamahlazo, Abetswana Dance, Ibhovalakwasokhela, King Bheka, King Veza, and many more.
Speaking during the occasion, Ezomnyovu and Music Entertainment cofounder Zamani Ndaba said the event aimed at promoting traditional music not only for the Zulus.
“Due to lack of diversity in traditional music, the Zulus have been so dominant through Maskandi,” he said. “However, this event sought to put other traditional musicians, like Batshwanas, getting exposed.”
Maskandi is a traditional genre of Zulu music, and it has been adopted by some ethnic groups like the Ndebeles and Xhosas.
“We want to popularize Maskandi music and we are also trying to bring together Umthaniya (artistes from KZN) and Umthwakazi (artistes from Matabeleland in Zimbabwe). When it comes to music, we are a one nation.” said the EME Director Khulekani Mchunu, who is also known as Umnyovu.
“People seem to look down on traditional music,”Mchunu said, “and a lot of national radio stations turn a blind eye when it comes to Maskandi. So we want to prove that Maskandi and other traditional music need to be recognized.”He also said that EME aims to keep the youth out of the streets by providing them with entertainment.
According to Mchunu, Maskandi Festival will continue bringing traditional artistes together in the month of September to honor the South African heritage. He added that in the near future, the EME will consider hosting an award ceremony to uplift the traditional artists.