Maskandi Festival rocks zandspruit

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.


Zandspruit residents protest against women abuse

Residents in Zandspruit woke up to  taxi crisis on 19 September as protesting community members blocked roads before marching to Honeydew Police station.

The protests against women and child violence started at around 6 am, forcing the closure of the Zandspruit Taxi Rank and other nearby shops. Most residents and students using taxis to get to their workplaces remained stuck outside the rank until getting back to their homes.

“When we got to the rank, there were no taxis and the roads were blocked,” said Nokuthula Mzamani, who could not get to her work place. “After the protesting members explained what the strike was about, some of us decided to join the protests. We definitely need the police to protect us from the violent people in this area. A lot of women die because of these violent people.”

Mzamani added that women in Zandspruit community are frequent victims of rape and domestic violence and they get unfair treatment from the police.

During the protests, the police deployed to Beyers Naude and Peter Road to monitor the situation and avoid any road closures. The protestors marched from the informal settlement to hand over a memorandum to the Honeydew police station.

Protesters demanded that the police hand over the memorandum to the City of Joburg’s MEC for public safety and the station commander of the Honeydew Police Station.

Efforts to get comment from the Honeydew police spokesperson were fruitless as he could not be reached.

Illegal houses demolished in Cosmo City

The City of Johhanesburg’s Department of Development Planning followed a court order on 14 September to demolish two illegal houses in Cosmo City, leaving at least six residents stranded.

The issue began when residents began extending their properties into the land of 82 –year- old Doris Shange who reported the matter. Shange claimed that she was uncomfortable with her neighbors invading her land.

“They started occupying my property in 2007,” Shange told Cosmo City Chronicle. “I told them to stop invading my land but they never listened. I am relieved to see the law taking its course. For the past 11 years I have been living uncomfortably.”

City brought in bulldozers to demolish the two illegally built structures, giving residents a few minutes to remove their belongings.  Residents who spoke to this publication expressed mixed feelings about the situation.

“When I came from work, I found out that the house that I lived in was demolished,” said a resident who identified himself as only Mthembu “and I was told that my property was put somewhere else. I have been living in this area for the past five months not knowing that it was illegal. If it was illegal there is nothing that we can do. We just have to look for other places to stay, and I was not ready for that.”

According to SANCO deputy secretary John Mongwe, residents of the illegally built structures were given notice well in advance of the demolitions taking place.

“As SANCO we cannot protect people who are doing the wrong things,” he said.

The campaign to demolish illegal structures, where court orders have been issued, forms part of the Department’s priorities to enhance building compliance in the City.



Cosmo City celebrates heritage day

Large number of Cosmo City residents came together on 24 September to celebrate heritage day at the Cosmo Mall.

The Bentel Group organized the event which saw different schools competing to showcase their traditional dances and poetry. The competition winner prizes were sponsored by Roots Butchery, Pick n Pay and 3@1. Boston awarded bursaries to Curro Meridian School and Sgodiphola Secondary school.

Heritage day is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September.  On this day South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions.

Speaking during the occasion, the marketing manager of Cosmo Mall Space Management Shongi Mudabula said it was a positive move to see young children showcasing their cultural heritage.

“We are celebrating heritage day with students and parents,” she told Cosmo City Chronicle.

“The Bentel Group is always passionate about giving back to the community and today we are helping the community celebrate the cultural diversity. This is a signature event which is important to our community and we will continue celebrating our heritage every year.”

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