Giving a platform to maskandi artists

Phindile Ganyaza and Sithembele Xhinti who are the brains behind the organisation’s establishment.

A non-profit organisation aimed at promoting maskandi music and developing artists was launched in Philippi on Saturday November 7.

More than 50 people gathered at the Browns Farm hall to attend the launch of Jabulanathi Music and Entertainment where there were performances by both heavyweights of the music industry and budding artists.

Phindile Ganyaza and Sithembele Xhinti who are the brains behind the establishment of the organisation, say their love and passion for maskandi music brought them together.

Mr Xhinti said the organisation sought to be a platform for the development of maskandi artists and cultural groups and to host a traditional maskandi festival.

He said while there were many up-and-coming artists and cultural groups in the province, they were not receiving much-needed exposure and guidance.

Mr Xhinti said traditional music played a vital role in preserving language and customs while also teaching the younger generation to embrace their identity. He also wants to play a part in changing negative perceptions about maskandi music and culture.

Many people, he said, think that maskandi music appeals only to uneducated people or that it was “outdated”.

“We want to create a platform for these artists to grow their music and talent. We hope that through our interventions we can change the landscape of maskandi in the industry.

“If we do not promote our culture and languages, who is going to do that for us?” he asked.

“If you go to KwaZulu-Natal maskandi is big and there are events every now and then. We want to do that. We want our people to embrace their identity and show love towards these artists and everyone who plays a part in promoting cultural custom.

“We hope that the provincial government will support this initiative,” he said.

Mr Ganyaza echoed these sentiments and urged the lovers of traditional music to support their endeavours.

Sithembiso Fakude, known as Mroza, said he was grateful that he had been called to be part of the event because such platforms enabled up-and-coming artists to hone their talents and become better performers.

Khayelitsha artist Khaya Masayidi, known as Mfo kaZulu, said he was grateful to have been invited and given a platform to showcase his God-given talent.

Enthusiastic fan Bandlakazi Notwabaza said she loved maskandi and wanted other young people to show support.