Lifestyle News

Eswatini Arts Industry Boosted By MTN Bushfire, ARMC Partnership

MTN Bushfire is excited to announce the continued partnership with the Africa Rising Music Conference (ARMC), for the second year running. Together, MTN Bushfire and ARMC will host the annual MTN Bushfire Arts Round Table workshop on Friday 26th May 2023, at the MTN Bushfire Festival.

The ongoing partnership between MTN Bushfire and ARMC was launched in 2022 laying the foundation for an annual opportunity for musician and music industry professionals to meet, engage, showcase, and activate on a dynamic range of topics and outputs, building bridges between the African and European music markets.

The Arts Round Table is the annual industry workshop with the aims of increasing knowledge, best practices and market links for artists and other arts industry stakeholders in the region, with the major focus on Eswatini. Every year The Arts Round Table hosts speakers from the region and around the world with expertise across various pillars of the music business ecosystem. The Arts Round Table is facilitated by First National Bank Eswatini as part of their drive to support local arts development.

ARMC is a Berlin-based, female-led, executive-focused music industry conference that connects African music to the worldwide market. This year ARMC will focus on the Urban and Electronic music industries and the Arts Round Table will feature delegates and speakers from Germany and Zambia; ARMC’s 2023 focus territories.

The partnership with ARMC is based on reciprocation and exchange in order to showcase emerging Eswatini talent while providing a platform for local stakeholders from different arts disciplines to interact with top industry professionals. The connecting of African and European music markets at multiple touchpoints will enable a range of opportunities for creative practitioners in Eswatini and the region.

The 2023 themes for the Arts Round Table will centre around the following themes: Amplifying Women’s Voices; Building Bridges: Exchange between Africa and the world; Independent Africa: Developing, understanding, and creating new opportunities; and Event-safety for eventgoers, especially women.

One key outcome of last year’s partnership with ARMC was the signing of Eswatini duo Qibho & Hanwah to the Berlin-based independent record label Paradise Sound System and the subsequent international release of their EP ‘Embili’. Additional artists who have songs being distributed by Paradise Worldwide include Sookz!, Sarnilo, and Mzwaa. ARMC are also working with Eswatini labels such as Antidote Music LTD, King Terry’s Third Angel Records, Criss Tino’s Lion’s Den Entertainment, Teaniclubworld Music, and Mateo.

This year ARMC is supporting the attendance of a number of German-based artists at MTN Bushfire, enabling the introduction of German contemporary music to the southern African market.

The ARMC showcase will include AKA KELZZ (GB/DE), a Berlin-based singer-songwriter whose work is intensely personal, ALBI X (DE/CD) an Afro-German who explores complex identities and life realities and who celebrates his multi-national self with a lyrical fusion of Lingala, French and English. Okvsho (CH) mix their original musical background in beat-making and electronic music with the sounds of the young and vibrant European modern jazz scene.

The Planetoids (DE) are a four-piece indie/synth pop band with a strong interest in the intersection of science and contemporary art. They will feature Namakau Star (ZA), a South African singer-songwriter, rapper, activist, and ARMC Ambassador, in an eagerly anticipated collaboration.To find out more about MTN Bushfire and the Arts Round Table, please visit the MTN Bushfire website,, and follow MTN Bushfire on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Africa’s all-in-one chat and music app, for updates.