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Sixteen years on and Macufe (the Mangaung African Cultural Festival) remains the only threat to the Standard Bank National Arts Festival held in Grahamstown.
Steered by the Department of Arts and Culture, the festival aims to “develop and promote arts and culture in South Africa and mainstream its role in social development,” says the Free State’s MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Dan Kgothule.
The cultural tourism event has been held in Bloemfontein since its inauguration.
The focus of this year’s festival is music, music, music. Again the organisers have imported a firm South African favourite, Anthony Hamilton, as well as Keri Hilson.
The Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful star is sure to attract youngsters from all over the country. Hilson will perform at the Divas Concert on October 11 at the Dome, Old Greys Sports Ground. Appearing on stage with her will be the magnificent Zonke, who is going from strength to strength.
Also booked to perform is Thandiswa Mazwai who is still dining out on her music from four years ago. However, there is no arguing that not many singers can outperform her on the big stage.
Maleh, who recently dissed the great Black Coffee in a Sunday tabloid, will also perform.
On October 10, Macufe’s Indoor Jazz will take place. On the line-up are Judith Sephuma, Hugh Masekela, Victor Kgatlape and Hamilton.
Macufe’s main festival is on October 12 at Rose Garden.
Bra Hugh, Hamilton and Hilson will be joined by Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse and Mafikizolo who are the hottest act in the country at the moment. Jimmy Dludlu and Lira will also perform.
DJs Finzo and the Free State’s DJ What What will pump the house and there will be an Amstel Golden Hour performance by a yet-to-be-announced artist.
For theatre fans, Umoja! will be staged from October 7 to 11 at the Civic Theatre.
Macufe will start with a gala dinner on October 4 at Sand du Plessis followed by a Macufe boxing match in the Bloemfontein City Hall on October 5 and a gospel concert the next day.
Record label Kalawa Jazmee will also host a series of events during the festival. These will include download parties where their stable of artists such as Black Motion, Spikiri and Oskido will perform.