MBABANE, eSWATINI, May 2020/ — It’s almost time for Fire Starters from across the world to gather around the fire once again for the MTN Bushfire #KeepTheFireBurning Digital Festival! Inspired by the festival’s #BRINGYOURFIRE call to action for positive change, the #KeepTheFireBurning digital festival is part of MTN Bushfire’s COVID-19 response to support our beneficiaries, Young Heroes and boMake Rural Projects.
Instead of gathering in person the traditional festival weekend, on Saturday May 30th, MTN Bushfire fans can still enjoy a wide and diverse array of music and related programming via an immersive two-way virtual experience.
Immerse yourself in our renowned authentically African and globally-infused programme as we recreate the unique atmosphere of the MTN Bushfire festival including some of your favourite artists performing from home, along with highlights from previous festivals, and other MTN Bushfire festival experiences including the KidZone, Bring Your Fire Zone, House on Fire and Firefly stages.
With Howler’s innovative technology, we’ll be sharing the festival’s multi-dimensional experiences through exciting themed Zoom Rooms, all for a worthy cause. Register now for free access to the online festival here: https://mtnbushfire.howler.co.za/keepthefireburning
In keeping with the kind of globally diverse and stylistically eclectic range of music that is synonymous with MTN Bushfire, a range of artists from across Africa and the globe will be bringing their fire to this exciting digital festival. Stay tuned throughout the week as more artists will be added to the various stages. Some of the initial confirmed artists for the MTN Bushfire #KeepTheFIreBurning Digital Festival include:
Oki Dub Ainu Band (Japan)
This act that nearly burned down the House on Fire stage when they performed. All the way from Japan, The Oki Ainu Dub Band plays mostly traditional Ainu songs in an electric style which mixes dub rhythms with tonkori playing.
Ain the Machine (Germany)
Ain the Machine, hailing from Brazil and Germany is an AudioVisual storyteller with a clear goal, Ain aims to transform the way we interact with music. It is music without instruments. A concept he calls, Musica Biotronica. Musica Biotronica takes sounds from the body, voice & everyday objects, and with the help of technology, transforms them into music.
Eswatini’s own Bholoja has wowed MTN Bushfire audiences many times over with his multi-colored, intrepid voice and a talent for writing songs that reflect on the daily life and unique culture of the people of his homeland.
Habib Koite (Mali)
Habib Koite is a Malian musician, singer, songwriter and griot and member of the West African supergroup Bambara. He is an internationally recognised artist and considered a treasure of African music.
Hailing from the UK, Dizraeli is Dizraeli is a rapper, multi-instrumentalist and sometime singer taking hiphop to new terrains.
Mokoomba (Zimbabwe) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHLxtppcrR0
One of the most exciting bands to come out of Africa in recent times, Zimbabwe’s Mokoomba play infectious and irresistible dance music.
Alune Wade (Senegal)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqk9iW10wIM –
Senegal’s Alune Wade brings a deep-rooted soulfulness to the African jazz scene. He has collaborated with the likes of Marcus Miller, Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare, Bela Fleck and Bobby McFerrin.
Sands (Eswatini) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVMx2Kgdcn4
Eswatini’s own Sands needs no introduction to regulars of the MTN Bushfire Festival. This home-grown talent is one of the country’s most loved exports. Having won multiple awards, he is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist. We are very happy to once again showcase this amazing talent for the global audience he deserves.
Donovan Copley (South Africa) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkVITcupQKs
Donovan Copley, perhaps best known as the frontman of Cape Town Afro-pop band Hot Water, has been busy during this lockdown period. He recently released a single, Home, to raise funds for the Covid-19 Feed a Child Coalition.
Mehdi Qamoum (Morocco) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxf8GlwyZ3Q
Mehdi Qamoum is a versatile composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Agadir. A traditional gnawa musician, Mehdi has mastered numerous folk instruments including guembri, outar, karbaou, bendir and a custom guembri four-string electric bass which he built himself. Aside from his own compositions, Mehdi is well known for his work as a sideman and band leader, and has performed in the the house band for the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot Center. In addition to his formidable instrumental talents, Mehdi is also an adept songwriter and his original songs often confront pressing social issues like poverty, diaspora and discrimination.
Mario Batkovic (Bosnia) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDJ6tBkvbh4
Mario is a composer who is also well known as a solo accordion player. BATKOVIC’S mission is to explore the sonic possibilities of the accordion, without effects or loops, rather through a mutualist symbiotic relationship between man and instrument. challenging, hypnotic, and grandiose; Batkovic’s single-handed symphonic vision is certainly unique.
Albert Frost (South Africa) https://www.facebook.com/neil.frye.71/videos/10156038888532152/
Dubbed the “Jimi Hendrix” of South Africa, Albert Frost has been wowing audiences with his blues guitar talent since he was a child. He has toured around the world and won multiple awards. He has toured with the likes of REM and Simple Minds.
Staceyann Chin (Jamaica /USA) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHrYfdK2pW4
Strongly rooted in the activist spoken word tradition, Staceyann Chin s a spoken-word poet, performing artist and LGBT rights political activist whose work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post. However, it’s her live performances that express her real power- her fire – that she brought in 2017 to MTN Bushfire where her powerful words moved so many people.
Red Robyn (South Africa) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnxJqJX0vSQ
Red Robyn excites the alternative music scene as a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and actress – currently based in Cape Town , South Africa where she is also part of Indie Pop band ‘The World Of Birds’.
Velemseni (Eswatini) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVMx2Kgdcn4
Coming back home – Eswatini’s own Velemseni is a rising talent whose music reflects an aesthetic of jazz, rock, and neo soul. A singer, songwriter and guitarist she is an artist to keep an eye on as she heads for international success.
Register now for FREE by visiting https://mtnbushfire.howler.co.za/keepthefireburning. If you wish to donate, you can do so when you register or during the digital event.
Stay tuned to our website www.bush-fire.com and follow us on our social media pages @MTNBushfire for more updates on this unique experience.
WHO AM I DONATING TO?
The postponement of the 14th Edition of the MTN Bushfire festival has greatly affected our beneficiaries’ ability to keep their doors open and continue serving the Eswatini communities at a time when it is needed the most.
With the daily increase in COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom of Eswatini, the threat on our health and livelihoods puts those with already compromised immune systems and inadequate access to potable running water and sanitation facilities at an even higher risk.
About 90 per cent of the families supported by Young Heroes are cared for by elderly women who have no source of income. Their needs have been further stretched by the closing of schools, where feeding schemes give the children a meal or two each day.
BoMake empowers nearly 800 rural woman artisans, subsequently benefiting their families and their communities. The pandemic has caused a collapse in their traditional sources of income and has put their families at risk.
Our donation target is firstly to support MTN Bushfire’s neighbours in the Lobamba Lomdzala Constituency, where the festival is held. Both BoMake and Young Heroes operate nation-wide, so any further support will be used to extend their impact across the country. Last year, we raised R330,000 for our beneficiaries and we hope that this event will ensure that in 2020, with your support, we are able to continue to support these organisations when they need it most.