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MBABANE - It is bigger and better!

The biggest Maskandi show is about to land in the country. Over 20 Eswatini artists and 20 South African best maskandi artists are set to perform at Emkhuzweni Stadium, Buhleni in April 2022. Hosting the show is Menzi Foundation under the leadership of Menzi Thabethe. The non-profitable organisation seeks to eradicate poverty, create opportunities for young people in the arts industry and help improve the entertainment sector.

It is worth noting that this will be the first festival with over 20 local artists under the genre of maskandi. The Maskandi Festival show was officially launched early this year at Buhleni where the likes of ‘Itotolozi’ hitmaker Vumile Mngoma from South Africa, Queen Lolly and  Dr Buselaphi took Buhleni and Maskandi music lovers by storm.

Local artists set to perform on the main day are Manzamnyama, Umfana weBhejisa, Bhubesi, Shobalemfene, Ghabadiya, Sphasha, Abafana Bengomnyama, Majika, Tidlam’lilo, Delakufa, Mlamuli, Mcwayizeni, Mshikishi, Mercedes, Majahilibhunu and Ithandamanzi to mention a few. Eswatini National Council of Arts and Culture Chief Executive Officer, Stanley Dlamini, said they were aware of the event.


Dlamini also confirmed that the event will be written in the history books of the arts sector.  “This is a big opportunity for local artists to showcase their talents with renowned South African musicians. Through this event we believe artists will connect and grow,” he said. Speaking to the host, Menzi Thabethe, who is also the founder of Menzi Foundation, he said the show was meant to encourage young people to embrace their culture and to motivate them on how they can best improve the maskandi genre.

“Eswatini Maskandi festival is meant to encourage young people to embrace their culture and to treasure traditional music. This genre is one of the types of music some young people fail to relate to. I am actually trying to grow the genre in Eswatini as I have noticed that there is a lot of hidden talent here. I think this is the only way to start, by giving these artists a platform to express themselves and show off their talents,” said Thabethe. Moreover, the show will not only empower artists but its profits will be used to help the less privileged in the country.

“In as much as we are trying to create a podium for local artists to expose their talents, we also want to implement one of our goals which are eradicating poverty and helping aspiring entertainers break into the industry. With the tickets sales revenue, we want to build houses for the elderly, buy food parcels and also help children with school fees,” he said.Tickets will be sold at E100 for general, E400 for the VIP section and E500 for VVIP.


“We have also included ticket packages. We will be selling a family quintet which will cost E400 for five people,” he added.  Thabethe went on to plead with the nation and other companies to support the initiative.  He also shared that they will be hosting road shows to promote this festival and during these promotions, stalls will be made available for local entrepreneurs to sell their products. Their first road show will be on November 6, 2021 at Nhlangano.  

“We would like to plead for support, this is a non-profit event, and we just want to promote the arts and help give young people a platform to show case their talents. During the show we will be selling our tickets, Menzi Foundations merchandise and t-shirts branded with the maskandi artists,” he said. The main show will be led by Tshathugo and Zim Dollar who are South African personalities. Artists from South Africa set to perform are, Thokozani Langa,  Shwi Nomtekhala, the ever trending Khuzani, Gcokama Elisha, Bonakele , Amageza Amahle, Dumakahle, Bahubhe, Falabo, Qhosha and Ezechalaha to name a few. In an interview with the ‘Phuma Kimi’ hitmaker Thokozani Langa, he confirmed the event and promised fun lovers the best of maskandi music.


“People will be happy and entertained. I will be performing my latest hits including slow jams and gospel songs,” he said.  The ‘Sponono sami’ hitmaker, Shwi Nomtekhala also assured music lovers the best as he will also be delivering an electrifying performance. “We are excited about the show, this will not be the first time in the country and we will be bringing the best. People will be surprised as we have a lot to share including new music with a different taste,” he said.

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