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Sunday, December 6, 2015


(Chris Ntuli, Nkandla Arts Festival Director & IFP Director Prof C T Msimang. Pic by Themba Hlengwa)

The Nkandla Arts Festival Organising Committee (NAFOC) will stage the first Nkandla New Year’s Isicathamiya Competition on January 1, 2016, at Ethalaneni Hall.

Over 30 choirs are expected and the first prize is R3,000; second prize R2,000 and third prize R1,000 plus trophies. The event will honour Nkandla-born and now retired Lemarko Mdladla, who was chairman of all halls in Gauteng, and was earlier awarded by Ekurhuleni mayor for his dedication in developing and promoting Isicathamiya music, in a career spanning over 40 years. He also managed and recorded veteran groups, such as African Music Bombers, Mtuba Thulisa Brothers etc. and co-founded SATMA with Prof Msomi as well as the late Paulos Msimang and Joseph Tshabalala.

Nkandla has been a breeding ground for top musicians and it is also known as the birthplace of Maskandi music. Even the first Maskandi song on air was from the late Nkandla-born Phuzushukela in the 60’s.

Other prominent people from this place include President Jacob Zuma; UCT’s Prof Thandwa Mthembu; Durban Black Drifters’ Chris Ntuli ; late musos Jabu Khanyile, ex-Juluka member Sipho Mchunu and Mzikayifani Buthelezi who received the first Maskandi gold disc in the 70’s. Also originating from Nkandle are TV anchors Robert Marawa and 1KZN TV Nomkelemane Langa as well as Ukhozi FM DJs Ngizwe Mchunu and Sbu Buthelezi, to name but a few.

The competition takes place on January 1, 2016, at Ethalaneni Hall in Nkandla, starting at 09h00.  Doors open at 08h00 and admission is R10. Weapons, bottles, liquor or drugs are not allowed. Dress smart casual, formal or traditional.

All Isicathamiya groups from Nkandla and all surrounding areas are invited to register now on 071 828 5136 or 073 301 6740.

The Nkandla New Year’s Isicathamiya Choir Competition is organised and managed by Nkandla Arts Festival Organisation Committee (NAFOC), in association with Prof CT Msimang Foundation and Nkandla municipality.