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Its been a Great Year – 2016 Highlights

It’s been a great year for Reggae and Dancehall in Mzansi. We remain positive, enthusiastic and optimistic about the scene and its continued growth. The steady recognition and growth can be attributed to a new crop of artists, especially in dancehall circles who are striving to either get into mainstream media through airplay or cross-border collaborations with other African artists and producers. The buzz has certainly been created,  as minor as it is, its a buzz nevertheless that has got a few head honchos interested enough to inquire. The one buzz that has certainly created a stir, is that of Kwaito’s big producers who are preparing to enter the Dancehall Pop Scene. 2017 is surely going to be an interesting one. In the mean time between time, here at MzansiReggae we are Reggae 24/7 and need no buzz; it’s in this spirit that we look back into 2016 at events that continue to shape the playing field.

Rasta Nation March

The Rasta Nation in Cape Town organised a successful march to Parliament with the objective of delivering a memorandum of grievances to the Presidency and Ministry of Police. The set date was 02 March, Adwa Day. The Rasta Nation Movement is set to keep the pressure on the government and mobilise more greater numbers as Police brutality against the Rasta community is ever on the increase. Read the Report Here. Photos Here.

Reggae Explosion at the State Theater

The Pretoria State Theater opened its doors to Reggae through a series of concerts, dubbed the Reggae Explosion at The State Theater. ” It is called ‘Reggae Explosion’ because it will explode the place with Reggae music” – stated the Press Release. Elder Carlos Djedje, Black Dillinger, Jah Seed, SATMA Award winner Ras Judah and ZionRuts are some of the names that pass thru. Read more here.


The South African Music Awards also reached out to Reggae by extending an invitation to Reggae and Dancehall artists to make submissions. The awards are classified as the premier annual music awards event in South Africa honouring and recognizing accomplishments in the South African recording industry, and to celebrate the diversity infused in the different music genres. The SAMA’s need an infusion of Reggae Category. It remains to be seen which artists heeded the call. Read more here.

Monwabisi Beach Reggae Legends Sunsplash 2016

The Annual Monwabisi Beach Reggae Fest was rendered with great success despite having been marred by controversy. There were two clashing events scheduled on the same dates and same venue, but the issue got resolved when another date was set for the other event, allowing the Legends Sunsplash to host international Reggae Star Lutan Fyah alongside Mzansi’s finest players of instruments and artists. Read here and here for details.

African Storm Dancehall Queen

The coveted crown with a cash prize of 50 thousand rand went to DHQ Tokyo, from North West. She won the inaugural title back in 2011, and she came back to reclaim the title at the sixth staging of the event billed as The R50K Edition.

Annual Africa Unite Reggae Sunsplash

The first Annual Africa Unite Reggae Sunsplash was inaugurated in Strandfontein, Cape Town in September. Organised by RUF and Bantu Media, the two-day festival was advertised ‘as the first of its kind in South Africa and Africa where all African countries will be represented. ‘ The event was hailed as a success from both its organisers and festival-goers, even though quite a few artists billed to perform did not perform, and it was almost shut down. The event organisers also came under fire for not having a balanced lineup, with only 4 female protagonists out of the 64 Acts, which later got rectified. Check the photo report here and here. Click here to check the rest of the lineup.

NC Dread Nominated for the Bass Awards

Ghana’s Dancehall and Reggae annual awards reached out to South Africa by nominating NC Dread in the Best International Act Award. He was competing against Nigeria’s Pato Ranking and Cynthia Morgan and the LEGEND Alpha Blondi.  Cynthia Morgan winning the award.

RUF Media Imbizo

The Rastafari United Front, under the auspice of Bantu Media called a media imbizo inviting all sundry to a community briefing regarding the signed agreement between Bantu Media and the SABC. The imbizo came after the SABC radically committing to 90% local content across all platforms, singling out Reggae as in “a special focus on genres such as Kwaito, Jazz, Reggae and Gospel”. The Imbizo was supposed to have discussed this issue.  Read the Report here. Read here about SABC quota and what it means for Reggae and Rasta.

Popcaan Spotted in SA

Popcan was spotted tagging alongside Drake on his visit to South Africa. In the mass hype that followed, the only reference made to Popcaan was from commenters: “Is this nigga wearing the currys” and  “Is that other guy wearing UGG?” Awkard. Check the Pics here.

In Pictures

Cape Town Cannabis Walk. Photos by Nicky Newman. Here
Rasta Nation March: Photos by Adrian van Noie.  Here.
Chronixx Live in Cape Town. Shots by Vincent Rhoode. Here
All Nations Reggae Fest 2016.  Shot by Hugh Mdlalose and Vincent Rhoode. Jozi Here. Cape Town Here


6th Annual SA-Zim Reggae Sound Cup clash 2016 -July, Cape town
Sunny Ocean Reggae Festival –  December, Ocean View Mountain,  3Days, Cape Town
Reggae inna Park – January, Rasta Park, Lotus River,  Cape Town
Jamming Reggae Fest – April, Hillcrest Quarry, Cape Town
One Blood Fest -morphed into One Africa Arts Fest  – November, Eastern Cape
Monwabisi Beach Reggae Legends SunSplash– November, Monwabisi Beach, Khayelitsha, Cape Town
Reggae Dancehall Hip Hop Summer Fest – December, Leribe, Lesotho
Benjy Dread Annual Clarke’s Pary- March, Soweto
Bob Marley Earthday Celebrations – February, Ushaka Marine, Durban
Annual Bob Marley Soccer Challenge – February, Pleseslear  FET College, Durban
Ladies Night Annual Concert – August, Khayelitsha
11th Annual Bob Marley Sports, Arts and Culture Festival – Tabak Baai Beach Resort, Cape Town

Home and Abroad

We welcomed home:
Queen Ifrika – Johannesburg Arts Alive International Festival
Gappy Ranks and Norris Man – Ubuntu Fest
Chronixx and The Zinc Fence Redemption Band – Africa Tour
Etana, Bushman & Turbulance – All Nations Reggae Fest
Lutan Fyah – Monwabisi Beach Reggae Legends Sunsplash

Gappy Ranks in Africa

SANS Abroad:

Skank and The Roots –  Ruhr Summer Jam, Germany
Azania Band – Abi Reggae Festival, Ivory Coast
Nkulee Dube – Africa Meets Reggae Festival, Nigeria
Jahnett Tafari – Malawi
Kebra Ethiopia Sound – Brazil, France, Holland etc


And We wondered about the Dancehall Reggae Music Awards like:

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. We remain unapologetically Reggae.

More Works Still.
MzansiReggae | For the Love of Reggae