Its been a great year for Reggae Dacehall in Mzansi. We remain positive, enthusiastic and optimistic about the Reggae Dancehall scene and its continued growth, even though its main critics are its protagonists; here at MzansiReggae we say forwards ever. Its in this spirit that we look back into 2015 at events that continue to shape the playing field.
RUF and The SABC
The Rastafari United Front and the South African Broadcast Corporation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Marginalized Rastafari Community. The agreement means that the RUF will oversee and approve all programmes that will be aired on the national broadcaster [TV and Radio] that pertains to anything Rasta related. They set up Bantu Media Communications to oversee the process and any interested parties, individuals or groups can submit their proposals to Bantu Media.
Ras Judah of the Next Generation Band emerged the winner of the Best Reggae Album Category at South African Traditional Music Achievemet Award. An amazing feat considering that the Album Let Thy Kingdom come is his debut album, and already it was nominated for another prestigious award, the Tshima Awards. It was a heavily contested category with all the nominees hailing from the Limpopo Region. The other nominees were Ras Themba The MelaninMan and Ras Finger. Jah Soldier won the Best Reggae Album at the Tahivenda.
Lenah Mochoele, Lucky Dube’s ex tour manager, published book: Walking a Mile in Your Shoes: My Spiritual Journey with Lucky Dube.
The Lucky Dube Band released a tribute album: Celebrate his Life
Phumi Maduna, Lucky Dube’s ex Back up singer released a tribute Album: Africa Unite – Tribute to Lucky Dube.
African Storm Dancehall Queen
The crown of the annual African Storm Dancehall Queen Competition went to Bev from Zimbabwe. She danced her way to the top by beating 20 other contestants and emerged popular with the crowd who were the judges. She took home R25 000 cash prize money. The previous winners are:
2011 – Tokyo from the North West | 2012 – Shorts from the Vaal |
2013 – Fire Lady from Soweto | 2014 – Pink Panty from Cape Town
Southern African Reggae Music Association officially registered
The Southern African Reggae Music Association (SARMA) was officially registered as a legal entity 0n the 19th of October 2015. The association was formed in 2013 at the Moshito conference where an interim committee was elected to see to it that the organization was set up and registered. Late 2014 the interim committee agreed to a change of strategy, the new strategy was to establish Provincial structures that would elect their Provincial administrations that would together with the other Provincial structures form the National Structure. The Western Cape took the lead in forming the first Provincial structure that was also tasked to get the association registered. Click here for more info about the organisation.
Dancehall Reggae Mzansi Awards
The initiative in its third year still did not manage to garner the involvement and participation of major players, supporters and fans. The ceremony was held at Soweto Theater on the 19th of December. The big winner for 2015 was NC Dread who walked away with Artist of the Year, Album of the year and Song of the Year Awards. Read the full award winners here.
Jamaica South Africa Connect
With the European market shrinking and the US and UK markets creating their own Pop crossover appeal Reggae chart toppers, the Africa market is happy to welcome home the Jamaican artists, even though some charge exuberant fees. 2015 saw the arrival of:
Luciano was also returning to South Africa for the second time,and had shows in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Check the Johannesburg review here.
Sly n Robbie came to South Africa for the very first time at the invitation of the Johannesburg Arts Alive festival and performed with local musicians at Bassline in Johannesburg. Check the review here.
Charly Black visited our shores for the first time with two shows in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The Johannesburg show was marred by violence with patrons throwing bottles on stage because Charly Black arrived late for the show. Check di ting here.
Iqulah was also on his second visit to South Africa and performed at the One Blood Festival in the Eastern Cape.
Other international acts included:
Stonebwoy from Ghana, though he did not perform but was here for the MaMa awards.
Burna Boy from Nigeria performed at Bassline with African Storm Sound System
Ti Rat & Rouge Reggae from Reunion Islands performed at Bassline for the Moshito Music Conference
Pato Ranking performed at a club gig in Johannesburg and attended the MaMa Awards
ZimDancehall artists can no longer be considered as foreign acts as this is their second home and they perform here on the regular.
Flag Flown High – SANS Abroad
While we welcomed international acts here at home, we also exported our local acts who made us proud by flying the South African Flag abroad.
Crosby Bolani – Performed at the Reggae Jam Festival in Germany sharing the stage with Shuga, Nesbeth, Aaron Silk and Luckie D. He then did club gigs while he was there. Earlier in the year he performed in the Reunion Islands together with El Von Lyric at the Reggae Metis Festival.
Black Dillinger – He closed the year with a Bang by being the first South African to perform at Sting Jamaica, the greatest one night Reggae Dancehall Show on earth. Earlier in the year he performed at Theatron Open Air Festival in Munich Germany.
Lefa Lavado – he was due to perform at a festival in Madagascar but it got cancelled, but he still went to do club gigs and had his music played on the airwaves there.
Teba, Axikunda and JJ Alcapone – Teba and Alcapone JJ performed at a New Years Eve gig, and earlier Teba and Axikunda performed at a club gig.
Kebra Ethiopia Sound – Kebra Ethiopia Sound has annual international dates. They returned to Brazil, after their successful 2014 tour. They did a three city tour in Italy and one date in Austria. They played in France at the 3 day Sound System Culture Festival – Dub Camp Festival along the likes of African Simba, JahShaka, Channel One,Mungo’s HiFi, Bush Chemist, Alpha & Omega, Bush Chemist, Sista Aisha and many more. Exporting the King Steppa!
The following are the major Annual events taking shape in South Africa Reggae Scene. Some are on their first edition while others are celebrating 18 year anniversary.
Sunny Ocean Reggae Festival – December, Ocean View Mountain, 3Dys, Cape Town
Afrika Rize Reggae and Poetry fest – October, Richards Bay Sports Ground, Durban
Catch A Fire – December, Carfax, Johannesburg
Care Reggae Festival – November, Ecovilla, Lalibella Inanda, Durban
Reggae inna Park – January, Rasta Park, Lotus River, Cape Town
Jamming Reggae Fest – August, Hillcrest Quarry, Cape Town
One Blood Fest – April, Eastern Cape
Monwabisi Beach SunSplash– November, Monwabisi Beach,Cape Town
Reggae Dancehall Hip Hop Summer Fest – December, Leribe, Lesotho
Annual Peter Tosh Festival – November, Marcus Garvey Camp, Cape Town
Bob Marley Earthday Celebrations – February, Ushaka Marine, Durban
Annual Bob Marley Soccer Challenge – February, Pleseslear FET College, Durban
Mzansi Reggae Sistas Vol 11
A follow up initiative that seek to highlight and promote the sistas in the game. It is a compilation that comes out each year in August coinciding with Women’s Month.
RIP – Rise in Power Jah Souljahs
Ma Aura Msimang [4 March 1947 – 28 December 2015]
Bobo ‘Ras Magnificent’ Mhlawuli [1980 – 2015]
Sihle DJ Lion Tafari [01 March 1990 – 08 September 2015]
Kwanele DJ Sensi Nkoyeni [D. 08 September 2015]
Mxolisi ‘Ras Zebulon’ Dyasi [D. 24 January 2015]
Cheslin aka Ras Kaffer [D. 09 November 2015]
We round it off by thanking one and all for the continued support throughout the year and keeping the fyah burning. We remain optimistic about the future of Reggae Dancehall inna Mzansi no matter what. We remain unapologetically Reggae supporters.
More Works Still.
MzansiReggae | For the Love of Reggae