Exciting revival of Mapungubwe Arts Festival

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kenny lattimore Freelancer SHOWMAN: Kenny Lattimore may feature at the Limpopo festival. Picture: Ziphoaonke Lushaba

Moloko Moloto

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AMERICAN R&B singer Kenny Lattimore could be heading to Limpopo.

Plans by the provincial Sport, Arts and Culture Department are afoot to bring him to the province. If all goes well, the world-class musician will grace the annual Mapungubwe Arts Festival next month.

The multifaceted event had been moribund for the past two years. It had faded in attraction to the fans. But, it appears the provincial government wants to revive it.

Lattimore, the For You hitmaker, has been roped in as one of the first artists in the new festival line-up.

It’s understood that the financially troubled province is negotiating with sponsors to secure Lattimore’s attendance.

Head of department Basani Baloyi said: “He has confirmed his availability.”

The Grammy Award-nominated singer recently released his latest album, entitled Back 2 Cool.

Baloyi said local artists would also impress. The line-up includes Afro-fusion band Freshlyground and the multi-award-winning singer, Zahara.

Songbirds Judith Sephuma, Lira, Zonke and delightful kwaito group Big Nuz will also entertain music lovers.

Nostalgic memories are set to be revived by the trombone sound of the legendary Jonas Gwangwa.

The ever-impressive Stimela and many other artists will also perform.

The four-day event starts on December 4 in Polokwane.

On the first day, the festival will showcase a carnival to highlight the spirit of the Mapungubwe area, after which it has been named. The area is now a World Heritage site as declared by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 2003.

Mapungubwe straddles the northern border of South Africa, and parts of Zimbabwe and Botswana. It was discovered by archaeologists in the 1930s to have been the largest kingdom on the subcontinent in the 14th century. It had trade relations in ivory and gold with countries as far afield as China.

During this year’s festival, the artists will display artefacts and crafts. There will also be stage drama.

Baloyi said some of the displays would be open to the public free of charge.

There will also be a Youth Music Festival in the build-up to the main festival. The youth event will feature artists such as Professor and Liquideep.

Poetry and comedy, featuring Mashabela Galane and many other comedians will also be held.

On Thursday, December 6, the Black Leopards football club will hold a beauty pageant as part of the Mapungubwe arts festival.

The big one, possibly featuring Kenny Lattimore, will kick off on Saturday night, December 8, and continue until the next morning.

Ticket prices range from R25 to R250 at Computicket outlets countrywide.


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