Battle for a spot at festival

TASTE OF AFRICA: Limpopo's Marula Festival begins on February 25 in Phalaborwa.  Pic. Unknown
TASTE OF AFRICA: Limpopo's Marula Festival begins on February 25 in Phalaborwa. Pic. Unknown

THE Marula Festival staged each year in Phalaborwa near the Kruger National Park by the Limpopo Tourism and Parks is marred by controversy before it starts.

The annual festival, the sole aim of which is to promote the fruit of the morula tree, will be held at Impala Park's Phalaborwa Stadium from February 25 to 27.

With the festival only two weeks away war clouds have been gathering, with artists battling for a space to entertain revellers.

A the centre of the controversy is the accusation that the organisers are fielding artists from outside the province, mostly from Gauteng, and leaving local crowdpullers in the lurch.

Forster Teanet, younger brother to late Shangaan Disco King Peter Teanet, is among the aggrieved local artists who claim they are being sidelined.

The lineup for this year is Rythmic Elements, Selaelo Selota, Don Laka, Mooca, Wobbo JJ and four other local artists from Phalaborwa, whose performance will be funded by the Ba-Phalaborwa municipality.

Teanet told Sowetan yesterday that the organisers brushed him aside in spite of his having performed for free at the same festival last year.

He said the organisers told him that they did not have enough money in their budget, which covers soccer matches, rugby, a marathon and the battle of DJs .

Festival chief organiser Moses Ngobeni said yesterday the festival was operating on a small budget.

"We wanted affordable artists that have what it takes to pull the crowd and help sell the festival and we could only afford those who are listed," he said.

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