“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
On the 15th of December 2019, Thohoyandou, in the Limpopo Province will hoist the Red Gold and Green Flag for the first Annual Les Royals Reggae Festival. A festival that is envisioned to empower Reggae artists who are somewhat overlooked and disregarded by music promoters and the industry as whole. Ninety percent of the featured musicians do not get any bookings, save for Dr Colbert Mukhwevho, his son P Postman and to a lesser extent the emerging youth, Ras Canly; notwithstanding that Limpopo province has the highest concentration of Reggae musicians and loyal fans in the country.
Les Royals, a record label thought of hosting a festival that would reconcile the scenario. A festival that would showcase the concentrated talent, that is being ignored and to empower the musicians taking part. A festival for musicians. They reached out to some musicians and pitched the idea to them and the response was positive. They set about planning and organizing the event and with a turnaround time of six months, Les Royals Reggae Festival was born and is to be staged at 2010 Centre in Thohoyandou on Reconciliation Day. When they announced the festival, they got a response that they never anticipated. A few more artists came forth and wanted to be part of the festival, and the lineup automatically and organically grew from there, with the artists showing interest. The wheel had been set in motion and the festival is now set to become an annual event.
Les Royals is a record label based in Gauteng that specializes in Recording and Publishing; they also do events, video recording and editing (post production). Fhatuwani Edward Maposa, the founder of Les Royals is a native of Limpopo and grew up on Reggae Music. His main objective is to empower the local artists through the label and by giving them a platform. He did not wait and lament about the lack of sponsorship for Reggae (an ailment that has besieged and crippled most Reggae Promoters, to an extend that they cannot conceive a festival without corporate sponsorship), rather, he opted to give the people what they want and worked hand in hand with the artists.
It is fitting that Dr Colbert Mukhwevo who was conferred an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in arts and social science degree from the University of Venda headlines the event. His music has educated, inspired, encouraged and entertained the people of South Africa for over four decades. He sings in Luvenda, Xitsonga and English. During his acceptance speech which was directed to the youths, he spoke of the challenge facing the Luvenda language as well as its complexities. He also urged the youth to be inspirational. Fhatuwani Maposa heeded the call.
He will be joined by other artists who are popular in the province for keeping Reggae alive with infused local flavor. Satma award winner, Black Jahman, 2017 TSHIMA song of the year winner Ras Canly, TSHIMA Best Reggae Album Nominee Shufflers, the ever popular Kenny Murabi affectionately called “Rasta Man, Teacher Man” by his fans; 2019 TSHIMA Best Reggae Album Nominee Burning Doctor and P Postman are some of the musicians who will be gracing the stage at the first Les Royal Reggae Festival. The MC for the night is non other than Jimmy the Scratcher, a veteran Radio Broadcaster who has been at it for over 25 years.
Les Royals Reggae Festival will take place on December 15 – 16, 2019 at 2010 Centre in Thohoyandou from 6pm to 6am. Tickets available at Computicket cost R150 and there are no VIP tickets because this is a festival for the people.
“Its for the Love of Reggae” – Fhatuwani Edward Maposa
For more information about the the festival, click here.