Youngster is taking Madiba legacy to greater heights

In the spirit of Madiba, Zwide hosted the Second Vintage of Madiba Jive at Umhlathuze Stadium in Richards Bay, supported by the likes of legendary Mbaqanga band Mahotella Queens.
In the spirit of Madiba, Zwide hosted the Second Vintage of Madiba Jive at Umhlathuze Stadium in Richards Bay, supported by the likes of legendary Mbaqanga band Mahotella Queens.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

In December last year SA, with the generosity of the Motsepe Foundation, hosted the Global Citizen Concert anchored on what we should make about the legacy of Madiba (Nelson Mandela) .

By all counts, including the programmes towards the concert, made SA proud at the overflowing FNB stadium.

There were few hiccups though, and this included our uncustomary behaviour of a planned plunder on mobile phones and wallets of guests.

This left a bad taste in this world class function.

Whilst the Global Citizen Concert was a sprint, a year prior, a marathon had begun in Kwazulu-Natal. Not the Comrades, but a programme that should emulate the Comrades.

Madiba left us with an open assignment about how we wish to write about, interpret, experience and live his life.

Young Bhekani Zwide Ndwandwe accosted me at OR Tambo in 2017, telling me about his dream.

Time was limited and both of us were rushing to catch our flights.

But in those five minutes, Zwide had communicated the most powerful message of how the Madiba legacy, through his legendary Madiba Jive, could be celebrated.

His focus was to bring and deliver peace through music. His was no longer a dream, but a great vision, a journey of an infinite number of steps.

As he talked to me, he had taken the first step, because that year - 2017 - the inaugural Madiba Jive had already been hosted in Umhlathuze Sports Ground in Richards Bay and he was planning on the second for 2018.

With intensive exchange which included him invading us at the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation Inclusive Growth Forum in the Drakensberg, Zwide was committed to keep the marathon going.

With nothing to his name except himself - as sure the sun rises in the east and sets in the west - on September 22, Zwide hosted the Second Vintage of Madiba Jive at Umhlathuze Stadium in Richards Bay.

The lineup was fantastic and included probably the oldest musical band on earth - Mahotella Queens.

The 76-year-old Mme Semona, who continues to wow crowds with her music, has even a younger generation to whom she is handing down the baton. Something that blends truly with Madiba legacy.

Young South Africans are taking this legacy to greater heights and will ensure that it survives our navel gazing squabbles and indiscretions.

The marathon is on September 21 in KwaZulu-Natal. Zwide invites all of us to the third vintage of Madiba Jive at Mhlathuse Stadium.

I called Mme Semona to find out if she is going to wow the crowds again and she said "of course".

The legacy of Madiba is a marathon that she has to run and asked me to join her again on stage and sing [Mahotella hit song] Marena.

When I called Zwide, he said the following in his own words: "The people of South Africa are once again set to witness yet another spectacular nation building and unity advocating event."

The Madiba Jive event is a brainchild of the visionary young man, Zwide, imbongi (praise singer) who hails from dusty rural parts of eMpangeni. He uses the event to promote social cohesion and expose people to the rich musical genre SA has to offer.

This year also marks the celebration of 25th anniversary of country's democracy.

Dr Lehohla is the former Statistician General of SA

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