MTN Bushfire. Picture: Supplied

This weekend down in eSwatini was a true reflection of pan-Africanism, from the food and the music to the people from different countries who descended on this kingdom for the MTN Bushfire Festival 2018 called Bring Your Fire.

The festival started on Friday evening and continues on Sunday at Malkerns Valley, and for a first-timer like myself, the experience was spectacular.

On my drive down to eSwatini, the roads were gridlocked as hundreds of festival-goers made their way into the country.

The venue was set up like a beach party with sand and haystacks at the edges which revellers could stand on to get a view of the stage. The festival featured artists such as local Nonku Phiri, who performed on Saturday, a Japanese band Oki Dub Ainu and popular local artists Mandisa.

The party of all parties was at the main stage. Set out in the middle of the arena, the open area offered an opportunity to mingle while enjoying the music. That stage was graced by our very own Khuli Chana, Nakhane, Samthing Soweto, trio Dear Rabane, Kwesta and Sho Madjozi.

eSwatini’s international star Sands was also in the line-up with Brazilian-born Flavia Coelho.

Sunday will be another special day when Grammy-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo take to the stage for the Africa Tribute to eSwatini alongside Salif Keita and Yemi Alade.

Video by Amanda Maliba

The crowds will also be treated to music from local legend Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse and Rouge jams.

The multifaceted festival was also a food fiesta. A variety of gourmet street food from all over the world was available. Away from home, revellers could even treat themselves to a shisa nyama and chakalaka. So exciting.

Everyone there was dressed up according to their taste and the warm weather permitted that.

The Sunday Independent