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DBD HIGH SCHOOL ISICATHAMIYA FESTIVAL (article first published : 2006-03-25)

This year, Durban Black Drifters will host its sixth annual choir festival on May 12 in the Playhouse Opera with no less than 60 choirs competing. Popular Ukhozi FM DJ and television commentator Joe Hudla will be the compère and some of the schools featured will include Ohlanga High in Inanda, Zwelibanzi High in Umlazi and Ilanga High in Clermont.

Special guests will be renowned guitarist Madala Kunene, Eric “Coolfire” Hadebe and the High Stars isicathamiya group. Prizes to the value of R8,000 are to be won as well as trophies and certificates.

Originally sponsored in 1995 by Caltex Oil which received a BASA award for its support, the competition has been highly successful.

For more than ten years, Durban Black Drifters have been involved in teaching traditional isicathamiya at township and urban schools. The popular and pro-active group is led by its founder Chris Ntuli who is also a composer. It is the only isicathamiya group that teaches isicathamiya music at school level, encouraging schools to create their own groups which will eventually reach a high enough level to enter the competition.

Chris Ntuli has been involved in the music industry for almost 30 years and has recorded with top artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Madala Kunene and Sipho Gumede. He is also highly involved with the successful Nkandla Arts Festival.

Durban Black Drifters was formed in 1993 and their second album was released last year. It included a song especially written for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The group has undertaken several trips abroad and will shortly be touring America and Japan.

Admission to the competition is R10. Book at Computicket. More information from Chris Ntuli on 073 301 6740 or visit www.geocities.com/blackdrifters




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