Black Drifters on tour of US

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Durban-based scathamiya group, Durban Black Drifters, that has rocked international audiences,left for the US on Wednesday for a countrywide tour.

The group has been booked to perform 42 shows in Illinois, Ohio and California. Chris Ntuli, leader of the group, said the Drifters were more appreciated overseas than in South Africa.

"It is hurting that you receive this kind of support outside South Africa. Wherever we have performed overseas, people demand that we go back again, while locally many don't even know that we exist. We are forced to spend our time travelling. This is where we make our money."

Ntuli blamed radio stations such as Ukhozi Fm and promoters for not taking their music seriously.

"Our music is not regarded as music because it is played only at night when all people are asleep. We don't have festivals where we can showcase our talent, while earning some money. We can't even depend on the music to make a living."

The group will release its fourth album, Obaba Bethu, this month.

The Drifters made their name when their song, Hurricane Katrina, earned them a role in the hip-hop Broadway musical, Katrina A Lotta Water.

The group also visits schools in Kwa-Zulu-Natal, teaching pupils about the importance of scathamiya music.