MTN Bushfire 2019 was a great weekend and one of my best Bushfires that I’ve been to. I can only hope the rest of the 30 000 patrons had an awesome experience. It’s more than just the big names setting stages ablaze but it ties in with the preparation, seeing local businesses reach international clients, and expanding of borders through real friendships formed during the weekend.
First day of the festival, Malkerns is buzzing with the promise of a good time. Amongst the first names to come to mind is Morena Leraba, a Mosotho musician who fuses Sesotho with modern sounds was a pleasure to watch. Another huge act of the night was Nigeria’s superstar and pioneer of Banku music Mr Eazi. His performance was followed by a lady who was definitely worth the wait, none other than Moonchild Sanelly who took to stage in the early hours of the morning completely mesmerising the crowd with future ghetto punk and alluring dance moves.
Round 2! It’s a battle of the stages; Firefly returns with more fire on this year’s lineup of artists, including one of eSwatini’s finest mixers and producers !Sooks, who made his debut performance to the festival memorable by sharing new music with his fans. He was followed by MKay and MTN Bushfire Pulse firefly top 3 finalists. The Barn which is one of my favourite spaces was well curated with thought provoking sculptures by Tim Dawson. It was heartwarming to witness DJ Bubbles take jazz maestro, Sethu Mzileni under his wing. DJ Bob a fine spinner played smooth tunes that lit up that intimate space throughout the weekend.
A group that seems to be on everybody’s tongue is German Techno marching band MEUTE. The 11 group band redefines the meaning of acoustic through the collaboration of techno and brand bass music. Watching Zambian-born Australian singer and poet, Sampa the Great live on the main stage, is one of those performances that stuck with me.
When legendary kwaito group Trompies got on stage, it hit me again how good music never gets old. Rounding of the night was South African duo Black Motion who certainly brought their fire, followed by eSwatini’s very own Dj Cybos.
This year’s Sunday was such a beautiful finish, one can only wonder which delights Bushfire 2020 carries along. My heart has been on Asa since I saw the lineup, and I must say few words can describe the bliss that comes with watching a seasoned artist perform. Amongst the songs she performed included her latest single The Beginning which might be part of the music from her upcoming 4th studio album.
The finale was such an electrifying performance by the legendary jazz, gospel artist Tshepo Tshola. His band on stage sounded divine, all the while I was in awe at how this veteran carried the same energy he brings to all his shows.