Sho Madjozi. Picture: Supplied

The inaugural Trace Roots Music Festival comes to life on Saturday. This fest places music as the umbrella under which people unite but it's more than that.

It's also an event to appreciate and be introduced to African cuisine, style and literature. In some cases, all these elements meet on one platform: short films.

The urban music channel has partnered with the Gauteng Film Commission to give young, black women who make films a chance to showcase their work. Through a press release, Trace Southern Africa's senior vice-president, Leo Manne said:“We wanted this campaign to be both a reflection of what happens in our dynamic industry as well as a development opportunity for the women who will continue to be given professional direction by some of the best creative minds our continent has to offer.”

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These film-makers are Nadine Kutu, Abigail Zikhali, Nontobeko Gumede, Nthabiseng Mosieane and Yoza Mnyanda. All of them were tasked with creating short films - under five minutes - that tell an African story. After a public voting process, one of these film-makers will win a chance to get support to produce a 20-minute film to be shown on all Trace platforms.

The short films are cool. Especially Mnyanda’s in which she chose to follow current IT Girl, Sho Madjozi around. Mosieane chose to profile Nigerian budding muso, CI Jizzle.

It was an interesting film in that we got a sense of who he is and the context of where he comes from. “Africa is the future, the music is going out there,” CI Jizzle says in the film.

Speaking of music, over 30 acts will make up the line-up of the festival. Hit-makers, Kwesta and Sjava are the main head-liners but you can also see the likes of Sho Madjozi, Gemini Major and others.

You can also check out what the Abantu Festival, which highlights the literati of colour, is up to at this festival.

About the day as a whole, Manne said: “We have wanted to celebrate the vibrancy of our audience, both on the continent and in the diaspora for a very long time, honouring their diversity and urban cool.”

* The Trace Roots Music Festival takes place at Joziburg Lane in the Johannesburg CBD on November 4.

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