Maskandi legends unhappy at losing out on World Cup gigs

KWAZULU-NATAL'S Maskandi music legends are crying foul for being overlooked in World Cup festivities.

KWAZULU-NATAL'S Maskandi music legends are crying foul for being overlooked in World Cup festivities.

They claim their hopes of showcasing their music during the World Cup have been dashed.

Bheki Ngcobo, aka Ihashi Elimhlophe, said they were disappointed that with only 21 days left before the start of the World Cup they were left out.

He said: "We are still in the dark about our involvement and have not been booked to perform at any of the events during the tournament."

Ngcobo is a legend of maskandi music.

"I only hear on the radio and watch on TV and read in the papers that 2010 officials have said over and over again that they are ready for the world, which means everything has been planned to the last detail," he said.

He said he had anticipated that traditional musicians would get a fair share of exposure during the event. They had hoped to perform and showcase their talent to international audiences visiting the country.

"I can honestly say that I have not felt the 2010 spirit. I am obviously not going to benefit. I had thought this would be a chance to showcase my music to audiences of countries I have never been able to visit," he said.

Another KwaZulu-Natal musician, Phuzekhemisi, said he was recently booked to perform at the opening of the 2010 stadiums in the Ugu municipality, in southern of KwaZulu-Natal. The stadium was going to be the official training ground for Algeria.

"I have been in the dark about what is going on. This is the only booking relating to the World Cup that I have secured so far. I would have loved to perform at big World Cup concerts such as the opening ceremony and be part of the history. But it is clear that it is going to remain a dream," Phuzekhemisi said.

Music Industry Federation of South Africa, vice-president Mandla Maseko said his organisation and other indigenous music groups and unions have over the past few weeks worked to get musicians on the World Cup programme.

He said they had been in meetings trying to get local musicians on the list of the opening and closing ceremony and other events related to the Fifa World Cup.

"We ask that our musicians remain calm. We are having talks in order to make sure there are more events where local musicians can showcase their different music genres during the World Cup. The list of other events has yet to be finalised," said Maseko. lAlso see pages 9 and 10.