Festival to honour top maskandi musician

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Legendary maskandi artist, Bizokwakhe "Phuzekhemisi" Mnyandu, will be honoured at a glittering two-day festival in KwaZulu-Natal for his achievements in placing the genre on the top of the music calendar.

Sandile Ndlanya, organiser of the extravaganza, said Mnyandu has achieved more than any other maskandi artist in the country.

He said he has taken traditional music to another level.

"Since he produced his first album, Imbizo, he has never looked back. He has actually taken maskandi music to the top," he said.

Ndlanya said Phuzekhemisi has done what the late Luciano Pavarotti achieved with opera.

"Today we have young black people singing opera because Pavarotti made the genre what it is today. Phuzekhemisi is doing the same with traditional music. Even in clubs, DJs play it and youth dance to it," he said.

Ndlanya said they also felt they should acknowledge his achievements while he was still alive.

He said the festival proceedings would be used to revamp a local music studio in Port Shepstone. The studio was built by the municipality, but has not been used because of the lack of quality equipment and the proceedings would go to that.

Mnyandu is expected to use the same studio to record his music and help other local artists record theirs.