Thrill for rural music lovers

TRADITIONAL musicians are taking World Cup "frenzy" to rural KwaZulu-Natal in a project called Ubuntu Abande Ebantwini.

The project is a community empowerment programme designed to curb social ills through the spread of ubuntu. It will mainly target remote and disadvantaged rural villages of northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The project is also aimed at encouraging people to be proud of their culture. The three-day event, which promises to be "enjoyable and memorable", will be held from Friday to Sunday at Ntambanana near Empangeni.

Attendees will be treated to three football matches, watch outstanding performances by some of the country's best traditional musicians and enjoy delicious African cuisine prepared and sold by local people. Traditional fashion wear created by local residents will also be sold.

Ubuntu Abande Ebantwini is headed by its ambassador, maskandi musician Bheki Ngcobo, aka Ihashi Elimhlophe. Ngcobo says the project is a vehicle to encourage stakeholders to take part in rural development, fight crime and make the World Cup a memorable event.

"Everything will be cultural, from the food to the clothing and music. This project is a chance to show off," Ngcobo said.

Artists billed are Ihashi Elimhlophe, Inkunzi Emdaka, Thomas Chauke, Apolio Nthabanyeni, Phuzekhemisi, Amaponi, Mfiliseni Magubane, Ntombi Ngcobo and Ndebele groups.