Overflowing with soulful sounds of SA

WHAT do you get when you put the seductive Lira, Princess of Africa Yvonne Chaka Chaka and evergreen Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse on stage and leave them to their devices?

WHAT do you get when you put the seductive Lira, Princess of Africa Yvonne Chaka Chaka and evergreen Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse on stage and leave them to their devices?

A two-hour concert overflowing with soulful sounds and the occasional surprise guest ... that's what.

Billed as the Motherland Tour, the trio served up a potpourri of musical styles and languages that kept the crowd at the Sun City Superbowl on Saturday night out of their chairs and jiving in the aisles.

The show was in honour of Chaka Chaka's role in the fight against poverty and HIV in Africa and her 25 years in the music industry.

The leggy Lira kicked off proceedings with her tight-knit five-piece backing band and delivered a performance that justifies her nomination on Thursday night for two Sama awards.

With a vocal range that transcends boundaries, she didn't so much take to the stage as owned it for her 30-minute set.

Dressed in a stunning orange dress she obliged with her hits Rise and I wanna feel good.

For Mabuse the years might be catching up but as a live performer he takes some beating.

Kicking off with the Bob Marley's Redemption he took us through a repertoire that included his greats.

Though now 27 years old, Burnout still sounds as good as it did when first released on vinyl.

Throw in all-time favourites Jive Soweto and Shikisha and in no time young and old were throwing caution to the wind.

Keeping the best for last, Chaka Chaka slowed and upped the tempo at will.

Joined on stage by legends Dorothy Masuku and Abigail Kubeka and soon we were cruising down memory lane with Thank you Mr DJ, I'm burning up, Nontsokolo and the late Ma Brrr's classic Weekend Special.

The surprise of the evening, though, came when the Princess invited some dignitaries to join her on stage.

Making their way on stage were the wives of the Kenyan and Lesotho prime ministers, the United Nations representative for Africa based in Addis Ababa and - much to the delight of the crowd - two of President Jacob Zuma's wives, Sizakele Khumalo and Nompumelelo Ntuli.

Also present were Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

All funds raised from the concert will be used to build a clinic in northern Namibia to help women and children have access to treatment for HIV and Aids.

X