Top artists wow crowds at Uitenhage music festival
Uitenhage’s central area came alive on Saturday as thousands of people attended the first Emandulo Cultural Music Festival.
National artists included Babes Wodumo, Nathi Mankayi and Ringo Madlingozi, who all took the stage.
Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse showed people that he still had miles left in his musical tank when he performed for close to an hour.
People filled the Uitenhage Central Fields – usually used for school sports – from as early as 11.30am, with the opening act performed by Freshlyground.
Organiser Mvuzo Mtyhobile said the idea behind the festival was to encourage people to love their culture.
He said he was stunned by the turnout.
“When events and national artists come to Nelson Mandela Bay, they [head for] Port Elizabeth.
“Uitenhage people have to go to Port Elizabeth.
“I just wanted people from here to enjoy themselves here.
“But that doesn’t mean people outside Uitenhage must not come,” he said.
Mtyhobile said he planned to host the event every year.
Already, he said, there were people interested in partnering and sponsoring the next festival.
The event also featured traditional dancers, maskandi group Shwi noMtekhala, Phuzekhemisi and gospel group Amadodana Ase Wilesile.
Xolelwa Mahlati said she had come from Kirkwood to see Wodumo.
Mahlati said when she saw the event’s posters she did not believe that the artists would perform because it was in Uitenhage.
“When I saw that general tickets were R50, I wanted to come and see for myself.”
Xabisa Mahlati could not believe how much fun she had had.
“I’ve never seen Uitenhage this alive. They must bring this festival back next year.”