By Bamuturaki Musinguzi
Published October 11, 2016
Mafikizolo, a multi-award-winning duo from South Africa have put up a sizzling performance to the delight of their fans in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. So satisfied were the fans–it appeared–that they did not call for any encore as they usually do for outstanding live gigs in Uganda.
Mafikizolo play a fusion of afro-pop, kwaito, kwela and marabi, among other rhythms, is made up of lead singer/composer Nhlanhla Sibongile Mafu Nciza and songwriter/composer/singer Theo Kgosinkwe.
Accompanied by their band Kgosinkwe and Nciza dazzled their fans with their songs, dance and stage antics in a marathon stage presence as the crowd sang and danced along. The band’s three dancers were outstanding for their energetic well-choreographed performance.
As the main act at the 14th edition of Blankets and Wine Kampala at the Lugogo Cricket Oval on September 25, 2016, Mafikizolo kicked off their one-hour gig at 9:34 PM with their 2002 popular hit, Ndihamba Nawe, which has become an anthem in every show of theirs.
After, Kgosinkwe, the male member of the duo, said: “We are so pleased and excited to be in Uganda for the third time.” The artist looked fabulous in an African attire together with bright yellow led (light up) sneakers. You can get light up sneakers on this website.
Then Nciza, the female member of the kwaito group, chipped in by asking: “Can we adopt Uganda as our home?” “Yes,” the excited fans responded.
Then the fabulous Mafikizolo performed, among others, Udakwa Njalo, Good Life, Emlanjeni, Tchelete and Meet Me At The River.
It is only when they played their most popular hit in Uganda, Khona, that the fans went wild with cheers, surging towards the stage and dancing themselves lame.
Mafikizolo crowned it all with the song Happiness at 10:30pm. When Nciza said: “Thank you Kampala,” the audience that had parted with USh100000 (US$29) each as the entrance fee and had endured a late afternoon light rain was awe-struck and did not ask for an encore.
Mafikizolo, one of South Africa’s most popular music groups, have produced several albums such as the debut self-titled Mafikizolo (1997), Music Revolution (1999), Sibongile (2002), Van Toeka Af (2004), Kwela (2003), Gate Crushers (2008), Reunited (2013) and Best of Mafikizolo (2015). Their 2008 album, Six Mabone, has tracks such as Miriam Makeba’s classic Walila, Flowers and Khululeka, among others.
Mafikizolo won two prestigious awards for the album Sibongile in the South African Music Awards (SAMA) in April 2003 by taking the Best Duo or Group and Best Afro Pop Album categories. They also took the Best Album, Best African Pop, and Best Group awards at the Metro FM Music Awards in November 2003.
The local afro-fusion artists that also performed were: Qwela Band, Giovanni Kremer Kiyingi, Levixone, and Kenyan DJ Saint Evo.
With Joe Kahirimbanyi on vocals and guitar and Maureen ‘MoRoots’ Rutabingwa on vocals and sax, Qwela Band opened their gig with an instrumental, Sita Tafa.
Off their forthcoming album, Qwela performed I am Local and I like It, Simple Song, Ndakwikundira and Never Lose Yourself.
Qwela also played Eija Nkutwara and Okello off their Afrotopia album, among others. Qwela’s music is played over a fusion of Western and traditional instruments.
Kiyingi, a folk musician and multi-instrumentalist whose unique sound is defined by rich instrumental textures and rhythmic influences from Africa and beyond, performed Ssekanolya, Buddu, Happy, Groove, Aminangojo and Everything, among others. His latest album is titled Amakondeere.
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Accompanied by Janzi Band, Levixone played his urban reggae, R&B and gospel songs like Victory, Kangende Noono, Nonya Omu, Shuga, Niwewe and Samanya (featuring Jackie Akello).
Nairobi-based DJ and music producer, Saint Evo, provided an exciting experience with his afro fusion electric club music.
“It was such a massive experience. And we had to prepare really well because the expectations were very high. If you are on the same stage with Mafikizolo all the acts that were very energetic and entertaining so you have to measure up,” the Qwela band leader, Joe Kahirimbanyi told ArtMatters.info.
Sponsored by Tusker Malt Lager, the quarterly event has relocated from its proverbial home at the Uganda Museum Grounds to the Lugogo Cricket Oval so as to accommodate more of their ever growing numbers.
“The 14th edition of Blankets and Wine was remarkably different from the others. This edition was at a new venue Lugogo Cricket Oval. Having Mafikizolo the finest acts on the continent has shown how we have grown. Our consumers got a new experience and indeed enjoyed, Ugandan musicians like Giovanni Kiyingi, Qwela Band and Levixone who performed alongside them created that much loved afro-based music fusion,” Alex Tusingwire, Brand Manager of Tusker Malt Lager.