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Kelly Khumalo coming to Ghetto

Christinah Motlhabane
  • Jazz Mu Toropo lands top attraction

Looking to make a big bang in the first ever Jazz Mu Toropo festival, organisers of the Ghetto-based jazz event, Bana Bana Ba Ntogwa, have secured the services of South African superstar, Kelly Khumalo.

Known for her energetic, and at times eccentric live performances, the 37-year-old ‘Empini’ singer will give Francistowners an early Christmas present, heading to the second city on 17 December to headline the show.

Announcing Khumalo’s appearance at a press conference on Friday, Bana Bana Ba Ntogwa Manager, Daniel Diamond explained they picked the Mzansi music-maker as her music – a mixture of Afro Pop, Gospel and R&B – appeals to all generations.

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“We already finalised everything with Khumalo and she has been paid!” declared Diamond, shining with excitement as he dropped the news.

The band Manager further noted that although Bana Bana Ba Ntogwa are focused firmly on traditional music, they decided to organise a jazz fest as the genre was lacking in live events in F/town.

“We saw a gap in jazz music in Francistown. People here are limited to listening to jazz at the bars, so we want to bring it to them live!” he said.

Kelly Khumalo coming to Ghetto
ORGANISERS: Bana Bana Ba Ntogwa

To ensure the inaugural show’s success, the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture (MYSC) have pumped in P100, 000 as sponsorship.

In a show of support to the band’s owner and lead singer, Alakanani Ntogwa, women-empowerment NGO, Emang Basadi have also given their backing to the event.

Indeed, giving females a platform to shine is a big part of the Jazz Mu Toropo concept.

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“The first woman we will be helping is Anafiki – a blind artist based in Gaborone best known for the hit ‘Mpolele re Babedi’. She will be featured in the line-up and we will also sit down with her and see how best we can help her,” disclosed Diamond.

Emang Basadi President, Theresa Mmolawa, meanwhile noted that as a ‘voice for women’, it was important to get behind initiatives such as these.

“This is a platform that increases visibility of women in the music industry, especially in key active roles not only as back-up singers or dancers. Our attention has been caught by Alakanani Ntogwa, an impressive young woman trying to make a difference with her band.

“We saw this as an opportunity to invest in her creative potential and to provide her with an opportunity to strengthen her skills,” noted Mmolawa, adding they will work tirelessly to help raise funds and also market the show.

In her closing remarks, a tearful Ntogwa was a whirlwind of emotions.

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“We are still looking for the sponsors and we wish those who can assist can come forward. When we started this group of Bana Bana Ba Ntogwa, I was very young and did not believe one day, I will be planning my own festival,” exclaimed Ntogwa.

Other sponsors for the festival, which will be held at the Obed Itani Chilume stadium, include: The Voice, Duma FM and MC Maswe.

Early bird tickets are available for P250, while there’s an option for double at 450. Those after ‘special treatment’, will have to stump up P1, 500 for VIP or P2, 000 for VVIP.

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