Helen Herimbi

The ANNUAL Mangaung African Cultural Festival, popularly known as Macufe, is back to celebrate the cultural diversity of South Africa. The 10-day event is often punctuated by music concerts, displays of cultural dance, sporting events, African cuisine and more.

With 18 years of hosting the festival under its belt, Bloemfontein has a lot to celebrate. To commemorate almost two decades of existence, there will be a half-marathon and big walk as well as an arts and crafts market, comedy and more.

To start things, a battle of the DJs concert called Tshepe Hip Hop will take place on Friday. Local DJs and hip hop acts will share the stage with the likes of AKA, Reason, Hip Hop Pantsula, AB Crazy, DJ Dimplez and Anatii.

The Macufe Gospel Concert takes place on Sunday and will present the cream of the crop of praise and worship singers. Multi-award-winning artists like Benjamin Dube and Sfiso Ncwane as well as Sechaba, Connie Lamola, Nkosi Dumako, Umsingizane and more will hit the stage.

On Thursday, jazz lovers will be treated to an evening of local and international artistry. The Indoor Jazz Concert will feature the likes of US saxophonist, Dave Koz, as well as South African-based Nigerian guitarist, Kunle Ayo, and prolific Cuban band, Sierra Maestra.

Women are put front and centre at The Divas Concert. Here, songstresses like Afro-soul darlings Lira and Maleh and vocal house dynamite, Bucie, will be on stage. American r&b singer, Tamia, will also share the stage with the divas. And if the soulful sounds of these singers isn’t really up your alley, you can be entertained by a diverse line-up on the same night.

The All White Party at Macufe Urban Youth Festival takes house and mixes it with hip hop when the likes of Black Coffee are billed alongside Ricky Rick. Hip hop DJs, Sphectacular and Naves, and Major League DJs will also do their thing as will house DJ, Mo Flava.

The Main Festival is for the grown and sexy as the most endearing music couple of all time, Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu, take to the Rose Gardens stage. Tshepo Tshola, Mafikizolo, Flavour (from Nigeria), The Jaziel Brothers and The Soil will also perform. For details on these concerts and other events, visit www.macufe.co.za.

Macufe takes place in Bloemfontein from Friday to October 11. Book at Computicket.