Sun Sep 24 04:58:26 CAT 2017

Bra Hugh Masekela cheerful despite small crowd at his concert

By Patience Bambalele | 2016-11-07 12:19:22.0

Legendary jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela praised a small crowd that attended his annual Heritage Festival in Rockville, Soweto, on Saturday for inspiring him.

Masekela's show at Elkah Stadium was the third in the series, in which he invites other artists to perform with him.

Masekela walked onto the stage with his well-known swag.

As someone who has performed on stages all over the world, he said audiences reacted differently to his music.

"Look at them ... they are so amazing. They are special and unique. They inspire me to give more because I don't see myself as [more] important than them."

Masekela said he was pleased with the racial make-up of the line-up, as well as the production and technical staff.

"I am happy that this line-up represents a true identity of South Africa - a rainbow nation.

"I have added white groups because people know about their music and they love them," Masekela said, referring to the likes of Goodluck.

Masekela, who was expected to close the show, surprisingly performed much earlier.

He played well loved hits, including sing-alongs such as Thanayi, Stimela and Chileshe.

Despite the poor attendance, the festival went ahead without any glitches.

Revellers came in different shapes, sizes and colours to soak up the music.

With many gospel festivals this past weekend, it was always going to be a mission to pack the stadium.

However, musicians such as Cameron Ward, Moonchild, John Hassan, Urban Village and Ringo Madlingozi gave great performances alongside the great man himself.

The highlight of the day was maskandi legend Phuzekhemisi and a band made up mostly of his kids, stole the show.

They delivered a highly charged traditional dance performance while he played the songs which made him a household name, tracks such Imbizo and Epitoli.

Phuzekhemisi, real name Zibokwakhe Johnstone Mnyandu, was chuffed with the audience's reaction to his music, saying after 30 years he could not believe people still enjoyed his music.

"I feel proud that my music is appreciated by different audiences including white people," he said.

"This encourages me to work even harder."