One of Africa’s longest-running arts festivals is currently running in Tshwane. Since its inception in December 2007, The Mzansi Fela festival has become one of the most anticipated festivals of the year in the Tshwane Metropolitan. The festival presents some of the most exciting music, theatre, dance, comedy and poetry in South Africa.
The Festival, which runs until December 21, started as a five-day event. It has now developed into a 20-day event and attracts more than 10000 people annually. For the past eight years it has provided a platform for local and national artists.
Mzansi Fela Festival has become one of the premier events on the South African arts calendar and attracts big name South African artists and audiences. This year is no difference, with big name musicians such as Ringo, Tshepo Tshola, Mafikizolo, Cassper Nyovest and the new singing sensation Nathi Mankayi to name a few. Other arts genres include comedy, theatre, dance and fashion.
“The festival is a celebration of South African theatre, music and dance. That is why it is called Mzansi Fela, meaning South African Only. It is also a culmination of the works we have presented throughout the year,” says Aubrey Sekhabi, artistic director of the South African State Theatre.
“I always try to diversify the programme and look at what is trending and above all, what is quality. I also like to celebrate artists and South African classics, hence our community festival presents South African classics only.”
The programme would not be complete without the line-up of development theatre productions through the Fieldwork Program, an initiative to celebrate South African classics unearth the next generations of writers, directors and actors. Mzansi Fela may be presenting the classics, but this year’s programme favours new exciting works.
“This year’s Mzansi Fela Festival hosts Indie Spotlight productions. It is my intention to continuously make artists independent through granting them support. We are also excited to feature the iconic ‘Amandla’ and ‘Madiba the African Opera’. These works are relevant and takes us back in time as we continue to celebrate South African classics and new work,” said Sekhabi.
“These shows are diverse and attracts audiences young and small. Where else Ringo will cater for older generations, Cassper will entertain our young audiences. Mafikizolo, Unathi and Maleh remain relevant and current. They have a wide following. This is an artistic treat for local and national audiences,” said Sekhabi.
* Tickets for the festival are available from Computicket.
Visit www.statetheatre.co.za for the full programme and more information.