IN the U.S Beyonce can perhaps sing with the greatest of confidence and at the top of her voice about the girls running the world.
But in South Africa women rights campaigners may shout a different chant especially after going through the line-ups of a number of music festivals happening just after women’s month. Instantly noticeable from the artists’ line-ups of the festivals is the absence of or a minimal presence of female artists.
First is the Phalaphala FM Royal Heritage Festival, backed by SABC 2 and The Royal Gardens, scheduled for September 13th. It features Oliver Mtukudzi, Mafikizolo, Ringo Madlingozi, Kanda Bongo Man, Khuli Chana, DJ Fresh & Euphonik, MiCasa, Big Nuz, iFani, Naked DJ, DJ Sphe & Naves, Colbert Mukwevho, DJ Nipro, Mizo Phyll, DJ Soul scenic, Kanakana “Cook”, Benny Mayengani, DJ Jonez, Taki & Rofhiwa, Majoy, Adziambei Band, Khakhati & Friends.
Staged at Crocodile Creek in Lanseria on September 13th; Joburg Day will also be dominated by testosterone or male muscles if you like. Again Mafikizolo’s Nhlanhla Mafu may save 94.7 Highveld Stereo some blushes. On the bill are Aka, Beatenberg, DJ kent, Gangs of Ballet, Gold Fish, Jeremy Loops, LCNVL, Mathew Mole, MiCasa, Monark, Pascal and Pearce, Prime Cicle, Short Straw and Van Coke Kartel.
The sun does not shine too bright for woman performers in Mpumalanga as far as the Mpumalanga Comes Alive (Mpuca) event is concerned. Featured at the event is not even a handful of women performers despite the fact that there has been exciting female talent emerging in the last couple of years that fits the various themes of the event’s shows. Previously known as the Nelspruit 60s, Mpumalanga Comes Alive; the week-end long event opens with a pre-party on September 12 at Cappello and Cuppucino restaurants with performances by Christos, Vinny Da Vinci, Mpako, Sumbody, Fistaz Mixwell, DJ Ocean, Trevor D, China, Cliff O’day, Mr O. The main events happens the next day at Mbombela stadium and will see entertainment presented by Oskido, Vetkoek vs Mahoota, Chrizozo, Mdu , HHP, Cassper Nyovest, Professor, Mpako, Shabbisto, Bucie, Bobsta, Pepsi, Thebe, Bobstar, Elque, Sumbody, Mdu Masilela and DJ Zoe. Wrapping up the event on September 14 at Nutting House Lodge, Nelspruit are Paul Mtirara, Wilson B Nkosi, Musa, Brian Temba, Brendan, Vusi Nova, Tlhaki the best and Sweet Mike.
Zahara is the only solo female act appearing at the 3rd GO West! Concert on Septemnber 27 at Coronation Park in Krugersdorp. Nhlanhla Mafu appears with Mafikizolo while Thandiswa Mazwai, a solo artist in her own right, will be surrounded by the three Bongo Maffin males. The rest of the line-up include Khuli Chana, Salaelo Selota, Mi Casa, Phuzekhemisi, Sello Galane, Mdu, Thebe, DJ Clock, DJ Vetkuk & Mahoota, DJ Finzo. Could it be that the audiences for the events mentioned above are not interested in what female performers or entertainers have to offer?
The recent emergence of a number of fine solo female acts in house music, afro-soul/fusion, pop/rock, afro pop ought to have reflected in these events not for the purpose of political correctness but to further strenghthen and display the diversity of South African music. Shows mentioned in this story will certainly go on but will be missing a feminine touch, feel and sound that could have given them a different dimention. Long ago before Beyonce was born or when she was in her nappies her fellow countryman James Brown had spread a message; “ This is a man’s world.” Of course it will be nothing without women.
Tickets for the above festivals are mostly available at Computicket and Shoprite Checkers. The Joburg Day has since sold out.