NAF a mix of new, favourites

SKILFUL ARTIST: Musician Guy Buttery is this year’s Standard Bank Young Artist for Music Picture: SUPPLIED
SKILFUL ARTIST: Musician Guy Buttery is this year’s Standard Bank Young Artist for Music Picture: SUPPLIED
The City of Saints is gearing up for the continent’s biggest arts festival, with bookings for shows having opened.

This year’s National Arts Festival includes performances from featured artist Mamela Nyamza, new work from Standard Bank Young Artist for music Guy Buttery, musicians Amanda Black and The Brother Moves On, comedians Loyiso Gola and Tats Nkonzo and the return of Corne and Twakkie in The Most Amazing Show.

The NAF will also present Suzanne Vega for two shows – her only performance dates in South Africa.

Festival CEO Tony Lankester said the NAF team was in full readiness mode, working around-the-clock to prepare Grahamstown for its annual influx of visitors.

“It’s shaping up to be an invigorating festival with lots of new features, engaging productions and no doubt plenty of fun in between.

“Grahamstown will be ready for the Festival so don’t leave it too late, get your tickets and start making plans,” he said.

Also in the main programme is comedian/actor Rob van Vuuren’s comedy production, The Very Big Comedy Show.

The ever-popular comedy show with a kick returns to the festival for the sixth consecutive year.

Featuring a riot of comedians from breakthrough artists to household names, the show is held together by the inimitable Van Vuuren as the hilarious host and meticulous MC.

Performers this year are Robby Collins, who endears audiences with his gawky giraffe frame and razor- sharp wit; Khanyisa Bunu, star in the sitcom Ses’Top La; Schalk Bezuidenhout, who exchanged his early ‘brannie en coke’ Afrikaans upbringing for an afro, a moustache and stand-up comedy; Lazola Gola, not only the brother of Loyiso Gola, but a rising comedic star in his own right with hilarious insights and a unique view on life; and Loyiso Madinga, who is quickly becoming one of the hottest young acts to come out of South Africa.

Also to entertain will be Gilli Apter, writer and comedian whose eavesdropping endeavours evolve into hilarious banter; and the cult comedy duo Corne & Twakkie (Louw Venter and Rob van Vuuren) of The Most Amazing Show.

The Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) will be bringing the Dakawa Music Show again this year, which continues to provide a platform for Eastern Cape artists at the NAF.

The partnership between DSRAC, the Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council and the Eastern Cape Audio Visual Centre continues to feature budding artists with Eastern Cape music legends.

This year’s show will feature the likes of Lulama Gawulana, Blaq Tye, the evergreen Bongeziwe Mabandla and Titi Luzipho, among others.

The Standard Bank Jazz Festival is also one of the main attractions for music lovers at the festival.

It will feature the likes of Thandi Ntuli, Nduduzo Makhathini, Andile Yenana, Shane Cooper, Ayanda Sikade, Linda Sikhakhane, Sisonke Xonti, saxophonist McCoy Mrubata and pianist Paul Hanmer, among many.

To book your tickets, visit the website:

The National Arts Festival’s programme is currently only available online, and printed versions will be available later this month. —