The 4th annual Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival returns to its Soweto home at Rockville’s Elkah Stadium on 4 November 2017. This not-to-be-missed festival, presented by Assupol, features a wide range of musical flavours including Riky Rick’s Hip Hop hits and Papa Penny’s Tsonga disco, headlined by Oliver Mtukudzi.
Though he is not performing as he is resting after undergoing cancer treatment, the line-up is curated by Bra Hugh who is passionate about the power and potential of our nation’s cultural diversity. “We are becoming a society that imitates other cultures, yet we have the biggest diversity of heritage in our country. This festival is about celebrating that,” says Masekela, who this year was honoured with a Doctorate in Music by the University of KwaZulu-Natal on his 78th and birthday and was also honoured with another doctorate of music by Wits University.
This eclectic approach will be evident on stage on 4 November when fresh artists on the rise, who released albums this year, will also perform: Afro Folk singer Bongeziwe Mabandla; Indie band Bye Beneco; Soul Reggae funksters Johnny Cradle and Jazzy songbird Zoe Modiga. There will also be a performance by a Traditional Basotho Group and BCUC, a percussion heavy Indigenous Funk crew who have been catching the ears of international and local festival goers of late.
“Don’t miss this joyful family afternoon and early evening get together, Oliver and I together is spectacular, plus you’ll be bowled over by the seasoned artists and new names in the industry. Be there or be square!” Says Bra Hugh.
The Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival is a day of family fun, with entertainment available for all ages. Tickets are R100 at Computicket, R150 at the gate and R50 for pensioners. Gates open at 11:00 am on the 4th of November.
Bridget Mokwena-Halala, Assupol Life CEO, said: “Music, entertainment and good food are an integral part to this inventive festival and we are at the same time, both honoured and excited to be part of it again. It showcases some of our brilliant local talent which promises an even more memorable experience than the previous year. This event is testament to Assupol’s commitment to the community it serves.”
About the event
Event Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival
Date Saturday, 4 November 2017
Venue Soweto Cricket Oval (Elkah Stadium), 107 Lefatola Street, Moroka, Soweto
Basotho Traditional Group
Follow the Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival on social media
Facebook Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival
OLIVER “TUKU” MTUKUDZI
Born 22 September 1952 in Harare, Tuku (as he is affectionately and respectfully known by his many fans), the ‘soul-dripping voice of Zimbabwe’ as he has so aptly been described, has a career that has spanned 40 years, and is only now reaching its peak. An amazing body of work with no less than sixty original album releases (nearly all of them best-sellers)! Also to his credit are several collaborations and compilation releases.
It is his dedication to the live music scene in Zimbabwe – continually playing to enthusiastic audiences in even the remotest parts of the country – and his socio-politically topical messages that have earned him the massive place he holds in people’s hearts today. He is without question, the biggest Zimbabwean artist presently both there and abroad. In the past years, his popularity has risen exponentially in the Southern African region, indeed the entire continent and the world at large. Together with his long-standing band, The Black Spirits, he regularly ventures across borders into Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. In the past two years, the group has toured the UK, USA, New Zealand, Australia and Europe extensively.
Tuku has, in fact, been so innovative that his music is now widely referred to as ‘Tuku Music’ being quite distinct from any other Zimbabwean styles. This is not to say that there are no recognisable influences in his work – the traditional forms of the mbira, the South African mbaqanga style, and the popular Zimbabwean music style called jiti, all affect it deeply – but these, like katekwe, the traditional drumming patterns of his clan, the Korekore, are very much absorbed into an art which is now indubitably his own.
Riky Rick is a rapper, producer/entertainer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. His latest album, Family Values, was certified platinum by RISA and was in the Top 20 African albums of 2015. He has won numerous awards for his music, most notably the MTV AFRICA AWARD FOR BEST MUSIC VIDEO, a Loerie Award for his short film, Exodus and two awards at the South African Hip Hop Awards. Born in 1987, Riky Rick’s music style has been influenced by early Kwaito and Hip Hop. Borrowing from these influences, he has managed to carve a lane for himself as one of South Africa’s most electrifying performers and rap artists that the continent has ever seen. His raw and eclectic style has found the perfect synergy between South African township life and international appeal. Beyond music, Riky is one of the most loved and respected personal brands, lending his face and creativity to major campaigns for Ben Sherman, Puma, Russian Bear Vodka and Woolworths. He recently won Most Stylish Male in performing Art at the prestigious South African Style Awards held in November 2016.
Born in Kulani Village, Giyani, Limpopo Province in the year 1962, Papa Penny, who was too poor to attend school, went to Johannesburg to look for a job. After a period in the mines, his search for a job led him to a recording studio where he was working as a cleaner. At this studio in Johannesburg in 1994, Afro-beat producer Joseph Shirimani was approached by Papa Penny. He just sang a song for Shirimane and that’s when he heard this unusual voice and melodies.
Together, Shirimani and the cleaning man wound up cutting several songs, including ‘Shaka Bundu’. That song, an example of Tsonga (or Shangaan) Afro-disco, updated traditional African music with synthesizers, electric guitars and Disco or House beats. Released in 1994, ‘Shaka Bundu’ went on to sell 250,000 copies in South Africa and made Papa Penny a star.
Now, 23 years later, the song, along with a whole album of Papa Penny music, has also been unleashed in the States – much to the surprise of the man who sang on it. Currently, Papa Penny has a reality show on Mzansi Magic, called Ahee Papa Penny.
When Bongeziwe Mabandla surfaced with his debut album in 2012, he was hailed as the new face of Afro-Folk, effortlessly able to entwine Xhosa lyrics with traditional music and folk stylings to create something uniquely captivating.
That the Eastern Cape artist can move into territory occupied by Africa’s most gifted singer-songwriters (Baaba Maal; Ismaël Lô for instance) is visible in his second album, 2017’s Mangaliso, his first through a new deal with Universal Music. The 10-track record is a sumptuous listen that spotlights Mabandla’s artistic growth into one of the most purposeful and gifted artists working in South Africa today.
In support of Mangaliso, Mabandla is playing live – this time augmented by Correia-Paolo on guitar and samples as well as Mike Wright (Zebra & Giraffe) on drums. Watching the trio perform is nothing short of captivating and it’s no surprise to find that Mabandla’s international bookings for 2017 are gathering pace. Already, he’s travelled extensively over the past few years, playing Primavera Sound in Barcelona and Africa Festival in Germany. Mabandla has played all local festivals and also toured Australia, Asia and Canada, substantially expanding his audience through a series of critically-acclaimed live performances
Born in Tsolo, a rural town in the Eastern Cape, Bongeziwe Mabandla displayed all the signs of a passion for art and music from an early age. After studying drama at AFDA, a film television and performance school in Johannesburg, his 2012 debut Umlilo earned two South African Music Awards nominations in 2013, for Best Newcomer and Best Adult African album.
Johnny Cradle is a Johannesburg, South Africa based three-piece band. Laz provides the DJ scratch samples and FX, Tebogo J Mosane drums the drums and backs the vocals, Sakie leads the vocals, bass the moog and plays the keys.
With roots in Mdantsane and Umtata in the Eastern Cape and Ga-Rankuwa in Gauteng, it’s no wonder these 80s grown-ups have a diverse influence behind their township slang Xhosa/ English lyrics driven by heavy bass, almost Hip-Hop electronica drum rhythms, DJ cuts reminiscent of golden era Hip-Hop and Bluesy Rock electric guitars.
Johnny Cradle’s self-titled debut album was released in 2017 and shows off the trio’s knack for deep haunting back beats, landscape guitar lines, bullying moog infused bass lines and socially conscious manifestos. Taut and lean, Cradle’s debut boasts a collection of songs that are cerebral as much as they are danceable.
Bye Beneco is a SAMA nominated Indie band from Johannesburg. Their sound has stemmed from a multitude of musical styles.
This eclectic dream-Pop ensemble has a magnetic energy that elevates their music. The sound stems from various styles, with evocative vocals at the essence of their songwriting.
Forever changing and evolving, the band refers to their opus as somewhat of a musical ADD with Africa being their biggest influence. Bye Beneco have recently released their latest single, ‘Jungle Drums’ accompanied by a new music video. Their new EP, ‘Ghetto Disko’ is out now!
BANTU CONTINUA UHURU CONSCIOUSNESS (BCUC)
Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness (BCUC) moves the audience – both physically and emotionally – with an explosion of passion, funk and rhythm. With their music, straight from the ancestors, BCUC wants to question the common worldview on modern Africa. The basic ingredients of BCUC’s sound are the traditional whistle, percussion and a rocking guitar. Topped by the raw combative voice of Jovi, flowing rap by Luja and Hloni, the sweet and clear vocals of Kgomotso, and chants of all four vocals together. They baptised their unique sound as ‘indigenous Funky Soul’.
BCUC takes the audience along on an intriguing journey to the secret world of modern Africa. They want to rectify western assumptions and show the post-apartheid South Africa from a young, contemporary, different perspective. In 11 languages, BCUC discusses the harsh reality of Africa where especially the unemployed worker forever stays at the bottom of the food chain. And also, they tap into the elusiveness of the spirit world of ancestors that fascinates them. Africa portrayed by BCUC is not poor at all, but rich in tradition, rituals and beliefs.
“We see ourselves as modern freedom fighters who have to tell the story of Soweto’s past, present and future to the world.” – Jovi Nkosi, singer of BCUC
Zoë Modiga who released her debut, Yellow: The Novel, in 2017, was born in Overport, Durban and raised in Pietermaritzburg. Her love for music at a very young age encouraged her to attend the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein, Johannesburg where she studied classical piano, clarinet and vocals. She is currently completing her degree in Jazz vocals at the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Zoë was in the TOP 8 of The Voice SA, Season 1, sang “Amazing Grace” under the film scoring of Kyle Shepherd in Oscar nominated movie, Noem My Skollie and won the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition for singing in 2015.
Over the past few years, with some experience behind her, this singer-songwriter’s talent has opened a number of doors in the music industry. She has featured on tracks by The Kiffness; the Frank Paco Art Ensemble and Seba Kaapstad. Zoe has been fortunate enough to be part of celebrated festivals such as the Aardklop Festival, Artscape Youth Jazz Festival, the UCT Jazz Festival, Joy of Jazz, the Amersfoort Jazz Festival and The Cape Town International Jazz Festival.