Jonas Gwangwa
Jonas Gwangwa

SAM Mhangwani, of Drakensberg Promotions, is the brains behind the 17-year-old Tribute Concert at Moretele Park. This year it takes place on August 30 and features, as usual, a top line-up of South African musicians. In line with his ideology behind the event, the musicians are of high calibre, who do not perform with a backing tape.

This well-known playwright and cultural activist realised South Africans were not paying tribute to their legends. And that some of them were being left out in the cold. He was also inspired to pay tribute to struggle musicians and provide a platform for them on their return.

This gave birth to the Tribute Concert. By mixing young and older artists, the concert also exposed the younger audiences to the music of the older generation.

He did not expect it to grow to more than 30 000 people every year. People from all over Gauteng bring their camper chairs and cooler boxes to the famous park in Mamelodi and enjoy a day of excellent music.

As with most annual events, this year, the Tribute Concert is paying homage to 20 years of democracy. Headlining the event is Mafikizolo and Johnny Clegg.

Mi Casa, Lira and Zonke are representing the younger generation. Interestingly enough, these three artists appeal to young and old music fans.

Mhangwani has taken particular care to make sure the necessary generations representing our struggle for and celebration of democracy are represented.

From struggle days, there are Letta Mbulu and Jonas Gwangwa. Johnny Clegg, Don Laka, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Ringo Madlingozi who represent the late Eighties and early Nineties. Thomas Chauke brings a traditional aspect to the event, while Idols 2013 winner Musa is probably there to represent the social media generation.

On Saturday, there is a free workshop that will be held at the Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History in Pretoria from 9am to 2pm. The workshop invites people to be part of an in-depth discussion that delves into the state of the industry in general and the live music scene in particular.

Young musicians and producers are invited to learn about contracts, rights administration, publishing and recording, among other issues. To register for this free workshop or to apply for accreditation, e-mail info@drakensbergpromotions.co.za

• Gates for the Tribute Concert on August 30 open at 11am and tickets are available at Computicket.