Woza and feel the Groove at MTN BUSHFIRE


South African supergroup Mango Groove, iconic play Woza Albert!, multi-platinum-selling songstress Lira and the Giant Puppets of Mozambique are among the latest acts to be confirmed for the MTN BUSHFIRE Festival line-up.



Taking place in Swaziland’s Malkerns valley from 25 to 27 May 2012, this pioneering international arts and culture festival is upping the ante with a dynamite entertainment line-up headlined by artists such as Saul Williams, Ayo and Mi Casa.


This week, the MTN BUSHFIRE organisers confirmed the next round of acts that will be appearing on the main programme, ensuring audiences of three days filled with masterful music, theatre, art, dance, performance, craft and all-round good vibes.


They include top-flight South African acts such as classy soul singer-songwriter extraordinaire Lira; much-loved marabi/kwela-pop outfit Mango Groove; and stand-up comedian Joey Rasdien, who also starred in the movies Material and Bunny Chow.


An exciting addition is the newly formed group Jika Nelanga (Zulu for “sunflower”), consisting of legendary guitarist Steve Newman and his accomplished partner in the Aquarian Quartet, bass and oudtar player Greg Georgiades, plus master drummer Godfrey Mcgina andAshish Joshi, playing tabla, dugi anddarbuka. They will be joined by singers Zama Mbutho and Lu Dlamini in what is certain to be an unforgettable musical encounter.


From the neighbouring states, there’s no way you’ll be able to miss the Marionetas Gigantes de Mocambique – aka the Giant Puppets of Mozambique. This amazing, skyscraping act was born out of an intercultural exchange programme among lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) countries that was funded by the European Union.


Also from Mozambique, new-roots reggae/ragga/dancehall maestro Ras Haitrm will bring his Rastafari philosophy of unity, respect, peace and non-violence to Bushfire’s stages. Then there’s fiery Brazilian-Mozambican electro-percussive crossover trio Napalma, who are guaranteed to get the crowds on their feet and roaring for more.


Joining renowned Kaya FM DJ and world music aficionado Nicky B in burning up the decks will be top Swazi DJs such as Chuidy, Muscle, Cya, Mfundo, Mseto, Rekorder, Tendaness, Toxik and Swaziland’s local hip hop outfit LIT - Labahambako In Transit featuring KRTC.


MTN BUSHFIRE’s international line up will also feature a special performance act from Japan – Sakaki Mango & Limba Train Sound System have just won Japan’s World Music Award. Their energetic melodies sung in a mixture of Swahili language and Kyushu Island dialect, are a powerful entanglement of musical traditions and modernisms overlapping and fitting together in a very original and creative Afro-Asian sound.


Audiences will also be treated to exceptional physical theatre from performers Mncedisi Shabangu and Hamilton Dlamini in the iconic play Woza Albert!, written by Mbongeni Ngema, Percy Mtwa and Barney Simon. The revival of this groundbreaking, world-renowned two-hander has enjoyed sold-out seasons at Johannesburg’s Market Theatre, and now Bushfire festival-goers can experience its raw power and insightful satire as well.



Standard and VIP tickets, full festival as well as one-day passes for the MTN BUSHFIRE International Festival of the Arts, are available at www.bushfire.co.sz. The website also includes information from Swazi.Travel on where to stay during the festival, from backpackers and campsites to chalets, B&Bs and hotels. Get the fire in your belly!


MTN BUSHFIRE wishes to thank the following partners: MTN, House on Fire, Young Heroes, Alliance Française, SNCAC, African Synergy and the Kingdom of Swaziland.Woza and feel the Groove at MTN BUSHFIRE


Founding Graphic Design Partner - Vincent Caudry.
Official Photographers - Bram Lanmers and Sydelle Willow-Smith
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