EL music lovers undeterred by cold weather

Sho Madjozi performed at the Buyel'Ekhaya Pan African Music Festival.
Sho Madjozi performed at the Buyel'Ekhaya Pan African Music Festival.
Image: Angela Weiss / AFP

Despite a cold and windy day on Sunday, East Londoners came out in huge numbers for the 11th edition of Buyel’Ekhaya Pan African Festival at Buffalo Park Cricket Stadium.

The event, which has become one of the biggest music festivals in Buffalo City Metro, featured top South African music artists such as Jik’izinto hitmaker Zonke Dikana, award-winning Sho Madjozi, the legendary Vusi Mahlasela, Heavy K, Kwesta, Jazial Brothers, Kabza De Small and Yanga Chief.

Also on the bill were some of the Eastern Cape music scene's rising stars, who were selected to perform at the event after being discovered at the Buy’ekhaya workshop a few weeks ago. They included  Nathi B, HH Revolutions and DJ Zandile.

While the early morning rain cleared, the wind continued to gust. But even this was not enough to put off music lovers. By midday hundreds of revellers were already seated at the stadium waiting for what promised to be a great night of music.

When the Dispatch arrived at the stadium, fans were streaming through the gates armed with camping and deck chairs.

Event producer Nomahlubi Mazwai said she was excited that the festival continued to go from strength to strength.

“We are producing a world-class festival. Nothing deters us; a strong brand does not get shaken by little things around it. We remain stronger and more determined to put on a world-class event and give people the best experience,” she said.

Mazwia thanked those who had supported the event over the years.

“Come rain, come sun, they are here to attend the event. All those loyal supporters, we really appreciate them. We cannot take their support for granted. Without them, there is no festival.

“We chose a mix of the best artists so that we can entertain everyone, so that everybody can feel accommodated,” she said.

Although many were event regulars, there were those who were attending for the first time.

Samantha Mbolekwa, who travelled from Sterkspruit said: “I am looking forward to seeing Zonke Dikana and Kwesta. I am enjoying myself. The mood is great and the weather is good,” she said.

Vukile Dinge, of Komani, arrived in East London on Saturday and was already inside the venue at 2pm on Sunday.

“I decided to come earlier so that I get a good spot and just relax before the event starts,” he said.

He has attended the festival for the past five years.

“It is nice to be here. What I like is the fact that they bring in a variety of artists,” he said.

On Friday, 10 emerging Eastern Cape fashion designers showed off their work at the fourth annual Buyel’Ekhaya Fashion Show at Hemingways Rooftop.

The up-and-coming designers were recently in Johannesburg, where they were mentored by SA designer Palesa Mokubung.