Inside Khalid’s first visit to South Africa

Award-winning American musician Khalid. Picture: Supplied

Award-winning American musician Khalid. Picture: Supplied

Published Dec 11, 2023


Khalid, an award-winning American musician, was one of the most-anticipated musicians to grace the popular music and lifestyle Hey Neighbour festival, delivering an exceptional performance that made the weekend one to remember.

Notable musicians and local celebrities on the list included H.E.R., The Chainsmokers, Swedish House Mafia, Grammy Award-winning American rapper Kendrick Lamar, Khalid, and other well-known acts.

More than just music, the festival is billed as a global celebration of talent, culture, tradition and unity that unites individuals from across the African continent and beyond, creating relationships that extend beyond the festival grounds.

Thousands of neighbours gathered in Tshwane for the three-day event held at Rhino Park.

Khalid said from the moment he had landed on South African shores, he had received an outpouring of love everywhere and he complimented how compassionate South Africans were.

In conversation with The Star, he expressed how humbled he was to be part of the Hey Neighbour festival with other incredible artists.

“It is my first time in South Africa. There are beautiful and incredible names on the list. I am just happy to embrace the culture and the energy.

“I just wanted to make sure that I bring my childhood friends to come and experience it for the first time as well. Being from America, and being able to come to South Africa, is a privilege. So being able to even set foot on this land is incredible.”

He mentioned The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, located north-west of Joburg, as one of the highlights of his visit to the country.

“Even then, touching down and receiving love. Everyone is outgoing and everyone is friendly. I went to The Cradle of the Humankind. It was so nice.”

Asked what inspired him, he said: “My fans and my listeners. Just the energy and how they feed me. I want to feed them right back.”

Heineken partnered with this event with the intention of enhancing the joy of the holiday season.

The brand is bringing the festival to Africa through a pan-African campaign that will establish the festival as a household name in 10 African regions in locations that include Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Nigeria, to name a few.

To celebrate its 150th birthday, the brand has also selected to share the festivities with everyone who is passionate about music, art and culture.

This forms part of the brand’s mission to spark connections and break down barriers, which aligns with the festival’s ethos of turning strangers into Neighbours.

The Star