By Bahle Gama
Despite the heavy rains, people were not derailed from attending the Isintu Festival that was held at the Mbabane Theater Club last weekend.
The event kicked off at 7:30 pm and lasted until midnight.
The lineup was made of artists from Eswatini, South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, who all gave phenomenal performances. Opening the show was a Marimba Band that was made up of pupils from different schools around Mbabane including Sifundzani and Annandale to name a few.
The group received a standing ovation after having performed Amapiano and R&B songs. Other performances included music by Gagamela and Indabuko Orchestra from South Africa, Sebaga from Botswana, Sisa Senkosi from Zimbabwe, Msikishi, Christian Maz, and Poet Pro from Eswatini.
Traditional Music Association President Mshikishi Mndzebele said the festival lived up to expectations as artists and revellers came in numbers despite the weather.
“People came in numbers and the audience consisted of parents of children from the current schools. We also saw a variety of age groups rendering different music and poems. It was indeed a fantastic experience, seeing a house full of people enjoying the show,” he said.
He further stated that the indigenous music that was rendered during the event was not popular nowadays, especially among the younger generation.
“Therefore, it was lovely seeing such an audience enjoying this type of genre that is barely known and we encourage parents to teach their children about the importance of preserving our culture,” said Mndzebele.
He further disclosed that several indigenous instruments were also presented by the festival, which is also unknown by today’s generation, which he insisted need to be taught about.
These were specifically played by Indabuko Orchestra including Makhoyane, Stolotolo, Skhelekehle, and Inkostina, which he said were a marvel to watch.
According to event organiser Larry Mhlanga, the festival is courtesy of Isintu Trends, a United Kingdom-based organisation, which moves around different countries promoting indigenous music and instruments.
“This year it began in Botswana on March 24 then proceeded to Eswatini on March 25, and we are unsure whether it will be returning next year,” said Mhlanga.