“It’s about how the battles shaped and introduced the culture we have today. The festival is not about celebrating the blood shed, but rather the by-product which has helped to shape how we look at each other and our identities,” said festival organiser and chief executive Dumisani Zulu.
He added that the third instalment would focus on the importance of having this kind of a festival - “one that aims to instil and reflect on the critical issues that the battles produced for our people, our nation”.
Zulu said the artists who would be performing were picked because they represented the essence of the festival.
“We believe in their writings, in their lyrics. They resonate with the spirit and the vision of the festival. That’s why it is more afro, jazz and indie music. We want to appeal across all lines, racial and cultural, as it’s about the connection of who we are as a people,” said Zulu.
He said the festival, which will see music, books and poetry come together, had been growing organically. “It attracts those who really appreciate the art forms and understand how the arts can be used to promote our national identity.”
For this year’s event, he said people should expect a highly charged musical event. In the line-up are singer and songwriter Msaki, afro soul star Berita, afro pop star Mondli Ngcobo, jazz drummer Tumi Mogorosi and The Voice’s Jono Johansen.
Msaki, real name Asanda Lusaseni-Mvana, has always known that she was connected to music, she said. “Deep down, it was connected to my calling, but I did not have the courage to pursue it. I have always known I would do this with the better part of my life.”
The singer started playing the guitar at age 10. In 2012, she travelled to the US to study in North Carolina. On her return, she started her own independent label, One Shushu Day Artistry.
Msaki is always working on new music and right now she is testing some of the material for her next project titled Platinum B Heart and the reception has already been great, she said.
“I’m looking to collaborate with an old school hip hop head to bring the story and the boom bap back. Also collaborating with artists like Modise Sekgothe, who features as a poet in some songs in Platinum B Heart.”
She said her set at the festival would be an honest one. “One true and sensitive to the moment but completely Msaki & The Golden Circle through and through.”
The event will take place at the Battlefields Country Lodge in Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal, on November 25. Tickets cost R100.