Held at Bassline in Newtown, Johannesburg to a sold out crowd, the 9th Annual Africa Day Concert took place on Saturday the with stella performances from a hot list of acts. Promoting Africa’s unity, diversity and solidarity in music, the night featured well known musicians and artists from across the continent – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Niger and Cameroon. The artists performed to a Rainbow Nation crowd that was filled with sheer excitement.
Opening the show was guitarist, composer and KwaZulu-Natal jazz graduate Guy Buttery, who enchanted the crowd with his sweet, melodic guitar sound which left the crowd feeling like it was cruising in the Mediterranean. His bass guitar literally hit the core of one’s roots!
Alhousseini Mohamed Anivolla
The second moving performance was lead guitarist, and singer of the world-renowned desert blues band Etran Finatawa, Alhousseini Mohamed Anivolla. Hailing all the way from Niger, he intrigued the crowd with his soothing and heartfelt guitar music that left the crowd spiritually satisfied and begging for more. And that’s exactly what they got when he called Guy Buttery back to the stage for a collaboration. Their combination had the crowd moving along like a snake being milked by a snake charmer, humming along to every single word.
Zimbabweans Tanga Pasi then took to the stage with their contemporary fusion of folk, reggae, afrojazz, rock, kalanga rhythms, and traditional Ndebele harmonies. Mesmerised, the crowd enjoyed their hot singles such as Kuzeku, Unenhlanhla and their much anticipated single Ntolontolo (A Long Time Ago) which brought the whole house to a complete standstill. The group left the crowd with words of encouragement that we might not be able to change the situations we come from but we can definitely mend , plan, strategize and shape our future. Africanism is all about “being”.
Next up, The Natives, a pan-African act comprising musicians from Ghana, South Africa, Congo DRC and Nigeria. They intrigued the audience with their electric, cool love songs that made sure that the crowd wasn’t asleep, by shouting again and again “Africa Are You There?”
Finally, our very own, internationally-acclaimed, singer-songwriter Thandiswa Mazwai closed the show. Running around the stage holding her African beated stick with an all-woman band that represented the best of Africa. She dedicated her much anticipated singles Indaba-Ka-Bani, Is This Love What I’m Feeling, Ingoma and Nizalwa Ngobani to the crowd and all the greatest African leaders.