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MALKERNS - Good music, food, fashion and a warm friendly atmosphere! These are the words that best describe the opening of this year’s MTN BUSHFIRE festival.

With approximately 2 000 people gathered together at the lawn of Eswatini’s House on Fire, one could tell that the annual festival had officially begun.
As thousands of fun lovers made their way into the country to celebrate the 13th edition of the MTN BUSHFIRE festival, the House on Fire lawn, where the main event was taking place, was already filled with thousands of people who were ready to dance their feet off as soon as the first act, Maia and the Big Sky took to the stage.

When the gates opened at 5pm, revellers were already anxious to be inside as the hype had gradually built outside, with people greeting their old acquaintances.


Speaking to one of the first couples to make it inside the grounds of House on Fire, they expressed how much they had been looking forward to this day and to enjoy the festivities that came with the three-day festival.

Phumi Dlamini and Tiyandza Dlamini, both from Lobamba, revealed that it was not their first time attending the festival. They said it was the hospitality and vibe that emaSwati had towards them that made them attend each and every year, as this was be their fourth year attending this time.


The warning on cold weather seemed to have fallen on deaf ears though as many attendees did not let that prevent them from showing off their flamboyant and elaborate ensembles, typical of a festival of this kind. It seemed as though revellers carried their invisible fire along to keep them warm throughout the night.
As the night crept in with fun lovers getting into the venue every other minute, there were young scouts who were handing out  the programme; and each and every one was reminded that this year’s theme was solemnly a call for ‘bringing your fire’.


The MTN BUSHFIRE Bring Your Fire Zone, a new addition, also saw thousands of festival guests engaging in a host of interactive activities that were designed to promote the theme of environmental sustainability.

There were 18 activators in the Bring Your Fire Zone and activations spanning a broad spectrum in the environmental/arts activism spheres, and at every stall there was something to do and some way for people to interact.

Speaking to House on Fire’s Communications Officer, Wandile Dlamini, who visibly looked tired yet excited to see the hard work the team had pulled off to make the festival a success, she explained that the philosophy and mandate for ‘Bring your fire’ had inspired this year’s theme which was social responsibility.
“This year, festival goers can actively embrace the theme at the all new Bring your fire zone,” said Dlamini.

She further explained that the Bring your fire zone was a dynamic space that encouraged discussion and engagement on the various social issues on display.


On the other hand, Dlamini said they were excited to see that people were already zoned into the mood and that all was going well, at least by 9:20pm. In conclusion, Dlamini encouraged revellers to have fun and take care of themselves.

On another note, moving around the camping site, most groups said they were coming from South Africa, specifically in Johannesburg, and they have heard about the festival from friends who have attended it before.

In as much as some of these campers were still setting up their camping tents, most were already settled down as some were seen enjoying food and beverage in between conversations. 

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