Catching up with a full line-up of global and local dancehall and reggae artists

Paul Rudeboy Mnisi. | Supplied

Paul Rudeboy Mnisi. | Supplied

Published Feb 14, 2024


A full line-up of international and local acts have been unveiled for the much-awaited “Catch A Fire International Reggae Festival 2024” set for the Soweto Theatre on Saturday, March 9.

Among those joining reggae and dancehall legends such as Pressure Busspipe from the US Virgin Islands, DynamQ hailing from Sudan, and Zimbabwe’s Etherton B & Garry B.

These acts will be joined on stage by South Africa’s revered artists and DJs including Dr Colbert Mukwevho, Bongo Riot, Paul Mnisi — also known as Rudeboy Paul, DJ Dino Bravo, and the Azania Band among many others.

Concert producer, Fikile Makhalemele of Lioness Productions, says this year’s spectacle not only heralds 30 years of South Africa’s hard-won democracy but also commemorates the influential role of reggae and dancehall music in the nation’s history.

“We are set to honour some of our greatest Reggae legends like Lucky Dube and Jumbo,” Makhalemele says. “As a highlight to look forward to, the festival will present an unforgettable tribute to South Africa’s Reggae greats — an intimate homage that promises to be one of many special moments at this year’s celebration.

“The “Catch A Fire International Reggae Festival” has over the years become one of the biggest Reggae-Dancehall festivals in Africa, taking place in Soweto.

“The groundbreaking initiative transcends boundaries, celebrates diversity and serves as a catalyst for the growth of South Africa and Africa’s reggae music and culture.”

Makhalemele, who has been hosting this festival for the past five years, says this musical experience is not just just a stage for the many dancehall and reggae artists on the line up, but it is a platform for South African reggae artists to position themselves globally.

“The festival provides the much-needed space for reggae music to thrive, fostering an environment where artists can earn a living while celebrating the unique influence and role of reggae in South African communities and history.

“With programmes implemented across various provinces and cities leading up to the main event, the festival aims to showcase the rich tapestry of reggae, merging both established and emerging talents.

“It is the ultimate convergence of commercial and underground reggae music, featuring live performances, dancehall, dub, afro fusion, poetry, street art, film, street fashion, food, and more.”