What started as a picnic in 2008 for mates who travelled to various varsities to the birth of a much recognised movement of music and fun, the #HomeComingAfrica festival returns next Saturday in Pretoria.
“It (the festival) was initially a HomeComing picnic back in 2008 and after 7 years we decided to expand and grow it in the African festival space,” said founder Katlego Malatji.
And this year, with 3 stages and over 50 acts that include Tresor, A-Reece, Shomadjozi and the celebrated acts such as the duo from Mafikizolo and rapper AKA, the annual festival marks the first of the multiple stage style, and hopefully will expand to over a weekend in the near future.
The decision to evolve the picnic into a festival came when the 27 year old recognised that there are not many black owned festivals known or celebrated.
“We have worked closely with guys who own major movements like Oppikoppi over the years to really do research on how to build a black owned festival that we can grow in the country and has the potential to span over 2 - 3 days like Made in America by JayZ,” said Malatji.
Katlego Malatji. Picture: Supplied
He dreams of building a festival that can be taken to the continent.
“We stopped doing the picnic in 2015 and now book a Afrocentric lineup for a more curated experience.”
Malatji’s initial vision of friends and reconnecting has now take a bigger stage of bringing Africa together through the art form called music.
For the youngster, who is qualified lawyer, his growing business was never his first love. “I have worked for someone before and while doing so I realised that in order for me not to get trapped in a relaxation bubble, I needed to figure it (life) out while on the go,” said Malatjie.
That is when he decided to start up his own practice that caters to the needs of entertainment artists.
“I identified a gap within this particular segment of black entertainers generally can’t afford the expensive legal fees but need a lot of help with their legal side. So I decided after my articles to start up my own consultancy,” he adds.
Looking into the future, Malatji hopes to be able to host the festival in all parts of Africa, creating a Pan-African cultural movement.
“It becomes a growth question. If we believe in our growth, the question is where do we grow to, what can we grow next and what is bigger than us? We needed to find something to believe in and there is nothing better that signifies the hope of the future than Africa itself.
“Africa is the future and that that is a genuine conviction for us,” he adds.
* The HomeComing Africa festival will be on September 30 in Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria.