On the 27th August 2016, Centurion played host to the inaugural Ubuntu Cultural Festival. The aims of this festival are to revive the spirit of UBUNTU (Humanity). To preserve, protect and promote our diverse African cultures. It also aims to Promote the social integration/ cohesion and inclusion/nation building in all communities while contributing to poverty reduction, skills transfer and income creation for the young and old in South Africa.
The stage was set at Spa Wiel Hall just off Snake Valley Road, Centurion. Artists and other performers came from all over the country to entertain an eager crowd.
Popular Xhosa traditional dance groups, Sinovuyo Traditional Dancers from ENgcobo and Sivuyile Nonzame Traditional Dancers wowed the crowd with some of their best performances. There were many other Siqhingeni (Dindela) Traditional Dance Group which performed indlam, isiBhaca, from Mount Frere. There were several other groups which came all the way from the Eastern Cape, such as Amaqhawe, Amatshitshi, Zamanani Traditional Dancers, Madiba Beat Crew and many others.
There were also great performances by the Pedi Traditional Dancers, Swati Traditional Dancers and other Cultural Groups from various corners of the country.
Amongst some of the many artists that performed were the Imithente, the legendary Maskandi group that has won both the SAMA and SATMA Awards. Ntombethongo soon followed with amazing Maskandi guitar skills and kept the crowd asking for more with his live band on stage. Then followed Qadasi (David Jenkins) and Maqhinga Hadebe, who brought back some old school Maskandi tunes in their live stage performances. Csana (Nonguquko Mlaza) from Port St Johns, whose first guitar she got from the late Saba Mbixane showcased her amazing guitar skills.
Late on the day, in came Ichwane LeBhaca, the winner of the 19th Annual MTN South African Music Awards in 2013 – Best Maskandi Album, with his hot album, Inkunzi Yomthakathi. Ichwane LeBhaca, born Zelule Mtshali in Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, has successfully combined Xhosa and Zulu maskandi music to create the very vibey sound of isibhaca. The crowd just could not get enough of Ichwane LeBhaca with dancers performing some versatile dance moves, from isiBhaca to isiMpondo, Gumboots dance to isiZulu and a mix of isiMpondo and modern kasi dance moves.
Well, Ubuntu Cultural Festival wasn’t just about the music and dance only. The event included indigenous games, traditional food and showcasing the diverse traditional attires in the country. Those interested in the African Beer, Umqombothi, there was more than enough of it, including umngqusho, umleqwa and other varieties of traditional African from the various cultural groups. The event also includes inspirational speakers talking about prevention of community crime/violence, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, women/child rape/abuse, xenophobia, rhino poaching, importance of education and more.
This was just the beginning of what promises to be an even bigger event next year. UBUNTU Cultural Festival – UNITING THE NATION WITH THE SPIRIT OF UBUNTU!