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ISIPHETHU SOMTUNGWANA AT BAT (article first published : 2003-11-4)

This month’s Maskandi gig taking place at the BAT Centre on November 7 features Isiphethu Somtungwana, a Maskandi band under the leadership of Khisi Nzuza from Clermont.

The group is a recipient of the Kwa Zulu Natal Indigenous Music Project, which is a training programme for Maskandi Musicians in KZN. The project aims to empower Maskandi Musicians with skills to perform on professional stages, thus increasing their income generating potential.

This project is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and managed by BEES Trust, a capacity building organisation based in Johannesburg. The monthly “Maskandi Fridays” are hosted by The TransAfrica Express Restaurant.

“The public response to these Maskanda performances has been really good since the project started! People from all backgrounds, as well as tourists, really enjoy it, even getting up and dancing,” says the project co-ordinator Malcolm Nhleko. “We’re aiming to get more exposure to local and international tourists, as well as local township audiences” he adds.

These performances provide an ideal opportunity for the bands to showcase their music on a professional stage in front of a supportive audience.

The six-member Clermont group Isiphethu Somtungwana was formed in 1993 by its leader and lead guitarist Khisi. “I started playing a home-made guitar and then later I bought a real guitar. I had always wanted to play in front of big audiences not only in the neighbourhood,” explains Khisi who originally comes from Highflats in Ixopo and now lives in Clermont. The group has entered many competitions in Durban and won the semi-finals of the Shell Raod to Fame in Mafikeng.

Get down to the BAT Deck this weekend and enjoy great, quality indigenous music by our local musicians. It is a perfect way to start the weekend!!

The show starts at 18h00 and there is no charge. For more information and performance snippets, visit the website at www.zulumusic.co.za or call Malcolm on 084 455 6608.




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