Amawele perform in Site C

Amawele KaMamtshawe

The multi awarding­-winning Amawele KaMamtshawe traditional maskandi group promise a spectacular show when they host their 10th anniversary event at Blue Hall in Site C on Saturday June 15.

The show will feature a range of entertainment acts, including well-known comedians and budding maskandi artists.

But there will also be a development component, at which the group plans to share tips, information and knowledge on how to make it in this competitive genre. There will also be representatives from various radio stations, record label owners and other related organisations.

The group was formed in 2009 by Zama Ntenteni known as Tornado and Masibulele Gompo, known as Nongoma. These are not twins as their stage name suggests but are cousins and both hail from the small town of Centane in the Eastern Cape. The group has over the years battled to crack it in this industry and have had their share of challenges. But they have now certainly made a name for themselves and are a household brand. Tornado says he never thought that he would sing maskandi music but it was his cousin who introduced him to this genre. He says after these years in the industry and all with the unwavering support of their fans and family, they felt that it was critical that they host such a celebration. But, he says, the main event will be held in their home village in December.

He says this genre had for years been dominated by KwaZulu-Natal artists and long regarded as outdated and only popular among the elderly, but Amawele kaMamtshawe have changed that and have left an indelible mark in the music industry in the process.

The 34-year-old cited funding and lack of gigs as some of the major challenges they faced. Another problem was music piracy, which resulted from people illegally copying and selling or sharing their music.

Nonetheless, “We are where we are because of our fans,” he said.“Music to us is not just music but it’s a calling. This music preserves our languages and connects us with our roots. We promote cultural diversity within our music. We have freedom using our languages creatively. It’s easy for people to connect with us because we sing in a language they understand.” 

Tickets cost R100 each and you can contact Tornado at 078 395 6954 to book