Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Michael Sakuneka and Alex Matlala
The International Marula Festival, held annually in Phalaborwa near the Kruger National Park, is marred by controversy.
Disgruntled artists from Mopani district where the event is to be held on February 28 threatened yesterday to disrupt the festival with a protest march if they are not included in the line-up and don't get a response from the organisers by the end of next week.
Artists such as Moocah, who recently won the Best R&B Metro award, Forsta Teanet, the 2008 Mungana Lonene's Best Shangaan Disco award holder, the country's Kwasakwasa Dance King Maloabotsheba (Steven Sefofa), and the ever- energetic Nkalidzo, are not billed to perform.
"Outside" artists include DJ Fatkoek, Freshlyground, Mahutta, DJ Cappuccino, Mshangane and Thomas Chauke, among others.
"Who is going to give us a platform when our own brothers and sisters do not take us seriously," asked Teanet who, despite local popularity, has not featured since the show's inception in 2005.
Another artist, who asked not to be named, said manybands had to disband because of lack of financial support.
"We are worried because the provincial government is spending lots of money investing in well established artists," he said.
Limpopo Tourism and Parks Board spokesman Mike Tauyatswala said they are "including national artists in the line-up for it to have a national appeal".