The inaugural Africa Music Connect Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, promised fun while talking against xenophobic attacks in that country.
Come Saturday, it was a melting pot for southern African nationalities, with mostly Malawians, Zimbabweans, Motswana and South Africans converging at Randgate in Randfontein.
Top on the menu were performances from South Africa’s award-winning rapper AKA, Vee Mampeezy from Botswana and Zimbabwe’s Soul Jah Love who were joined by Malawi’s top reggae band, Black Missionaries.
After 9pm, scores of fun-seekers, including Malawians, started filling the ‘huge’ bare ground ready to enjoy the night.
As the crowd swelled, one by one the DJs and artists took turns on stage to entertain the crowd.
It had to take Black Missionaries to bring a different vibe from South Africa’s famous gqom genre, house and danceable tunes that characterised the earlier performances.
It was a familiar breath of fresh air for Malawians who for once seemingly outnumbered the fans if the chants were anything to go by.
From Freedom, Timba to Ndimati Ndigone, the Blacks took charge as if they were at their home ground.
But, the sound was a bit of a challenge, which forced the band off the stage when they were earlier called.
However, five songs into the show with the Malawians enjoying the usual merry-go-round dance popular at the band’s shows, time was up for Ma Blacks.
Jah Signal from Zimbabwe took over the mantle for an hour before fans were treated to AKA.
With his live mixed with loop system, he took over the stage but not for long. In the middle of his second song, the charged crowd was let down once more as sound got cut.
Efforts to jump to the next song on the set did not yield anything and AKA walked off the stage. And that was the end of the night and the much-touted Africa Connect Music festival which the organisers are planning to do annually.
*This article has been sponsored by Malawian Airlines