national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, December 8, 2014



If you're a lover of Maskandi music, join fans of this popular brand of Zulu folk music at the Playhouse Company’s Maskandi Concert on December 20, featuring some of the best known talent in this indigenous genre.

The concert includes such household names as Phuz'ekhemisi, Madala Kunene, Ezikabhaka, Madosini and Vumile Mngoma. The MC’s are local personality Henry Dlamini, better known as “Juba Special” and radio personality from Ukhozi, Ngizwe Mchunu.

Phuz'ekhemisi (which roughly translates in English as "Drink the Medicine") needs little introduction to local music aficionados. Born Zibokwakhe Johnstone Mnyandu on the KZN South Coast, he is widely acknowledged as the king of Maskandi. He has taken his music to several countries in Europe, exposing the Maskandi style to a global audience. In 2002, he was one of the African acts invited to perform at the closing celebrations for the Soccer World Cup in Japan.

Madala Kunene has come a long way since he started busking on Durban's beachfront at the age of seven. He now performs to audiences around the world and often shared the stage with great names such as the inimitable late Busi Mhlongo. Kunene’s repertoire includes playing for Nelson Mandela at a show to honour his release from Robben Island. The story goes that when they met again at another benefit show in Durban, Mandela smiled and said: "It's you again. I wish you could play for me everywhere I go." There could be no better tribute to a musician than that.

Both musicians headlined a double bill showcasing Maskandi music at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in October. They have been playing Maskandi since childhood and have contributed immensely to creating this distinctive musical style that has now gained popularity globally.

Vumile Mngoma started her maskandi musical group in order to play what she feels was the more popular umkhomazi style or umsinga style of Maskandi that most musicians were not performing. Her energetic dance and performance style is entertaining and has earned her fans around the world. She performed in Mexico, Dubai and France.

Madosini Latozi Mpahleni grew up in the Eastern Cape and is known for playing traditional instruments such as the uhadi and mhrubhe musical bows, as well as the isitolotolo.

Zamokwakhe 'Bhaka' Nzama won the SATMA 2014 Award for Best Song of the Year category with his popular group EzikaBhaka. They also beat over 100 artists to win Most Downloaded Song category.

So come and appreciate this rich repertoire of unique guitar playing by some of the best Maskandï artists in South Africa on December 20 at 11h00 in the Playhouse Drama. Tickets R65 booked through Computicket. For more information on this concert or any of the festive season shows, contact the Playhouse on 031 369 9456.