Vusi Nova
Vusi Nova
Sipho Sithole. Picture: Matthews Baloyi
Sipho Sithole. Picture: Matthews Baloyi

IT’S THAT time of the year again when the music industry and aspirant music industry types get together for the annual Moshito Music Conference. This year it takes place at the SABC’s Radio Park which, for all intents and purposes is the hub of South African entertainment.

The all-powerful broadcaster is ambling along in spite of the fact that its leaders don’t seem to have much of an education. It makes false promises to actors and doesn’t deliver, which then causes a nasty strike and some brisk firing.

There have been calls by the random Creative Workers Union of SA to boycott Moshito owing to it taking place at the SABC – a call that mostly goes unheeded.

The public broadcaster, thanks to its powerful radio reach, is an integral part of the success of any musician. Musicians who voice disapproval, particularly when they have just released an album, should think twice before taking on the heads of the SABC because of a spat between a television soapie and its cast members. Eugene Mthethwa take note.

Moshito opens on September 5 with a keynote address by our brand new Minister of Arts and Culture and former police minister Nathi Mthethwa. He was recently proactive in trying to help with the Generations strike.

Sophie Ndaba and her colleagues should thank their lucky stars that they weren’t Marikana miners – and Mthethwa was not in his former position of Minister of Police. The outcome could have been very different.

Moshito runs from September 4-6 with an opening concert on September 4 at the SABC’s M1 studio. The line-up includes Nancy Vieira and Remma Schwarz from Cape Verde. The Atlantic Music Expo, held in Cape Verde, and the Doa Doa Music Exhibition from East Africa will be exhibiting at Moshito for the first time. The Chinese Musicians Association will also be sending musicians to take part in the concert. There will also be performances by Matthew Mole, Cassper Nyovest and Dorothy Masuka.

Newly-appointed chairman, Sipho Sithole said: “Dorothy Masuka is the face of Moshito this year. It is important to honour living legends. She is still the foremost composer from this country.”

There will also be a Brenda Fassie legacy tribute featuring various artists, including Vusi Nova, her son Bongani, Nancy G and Fiesta Black, the vocalist on Ganyani’s big hit, Xigubu. The video has 1.6 million downloads and counting.

Sithole has a firm vision for the development of Moshito: “We will cement our position as Africa’s premium music market and exhibition. In the next three years Moshito will become the preferred music market for anyone in the industry from around the world. We have developed an exciting business plan to make sure that we achieve that objective.

“We have woven in the theme celebrating 20 years of democracy. We have a film and photographic exhibition as well as a soundtrack that will be heard in and around the exhibition.

“We will be displaying the role that music played in highlighting racial oppression and segregation.”

Topics under discussion on day one include: lwhen music had a conscience lmusic consumption patterns in South Africa

lwhat does radio want.

On day two the plenary session is all about creating and sustaining your brand with breakaway discussions on what does TV want and playing and surviving in the digital space. There will also be nightly showcases at 44 Stanley Avenue.

A closing concert takes place at Joburg Theatre on September 6 in conjunction with Arts Alive.