Top acts for Durban music festival

Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse will perform in Durban as part of the three-day Zakifo Music Festival.


HIT-MAKER Aloe Blacc, who had a hit with the catchy I Need a Dollar, as well as local legend Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse, will perform in Durban in May as part of the fourth annual Zakifo Music Festival.

Three venues will be used the festival which, scheduled for May 25, 26 and 27, will present a diverse range of musicians from African and elsewhere. This year’s festival will be at the Bat Centre, Views at Twenty5 and Blue Lagoon Beach.

“Kicking off the festival on Friday night is a fundraising concert for the Nelson Mandela Foundation at the Bat Centre, featuring Sekou Kouyate, a renowned kora player from Guinea, and Elida Almeida, a young Cape Verdean folk singer,” says publicist Illa Thompson.

Flavia Coehlo from Brazil offers samba and bossa nova sounds.

“Headlining the evening is South African icon Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse. This event is ticketed separately from the rest of the festival.”

The rest of Friday and Saturday night will see the festival at Views @ Twenty5 in Morningside, a rooftop venue offerING panoramic views of the city. It will offer performances by Nasty C, DJ Lag, Flavia Coelho, Nathalie Natiembé, DJ Doowap, Oki Dub Ainu Band, and K-$.

At Blue Lagoon Beach on Sunday, the final day of the festival, music will be provided by Alice Phoebe Lou, Nakhane, Dub Inc, Guy Buttery and Kanada Narahari, and international act Aloe Blacc.

Best known for his I Need a Dollar and for featuring on Avicii’s Wake Me Up, Blacc has prove himself a singer-songwriter with an irresistible power to capture the complexities of human emotion.

Originally signed to Stones’ Throw Records, he has, over the years, evolved his sound from hip-hop inspired by the likes of Public Enemy, The Pharcyde, and De La Soul, to a smooth array of pop, folk and soul paired with poetic yet incisive lyrics, huge hooks and relentless feel-good grooves.

Each year a host of satellite events, workshops, and parties linked to the festival occur in the week leading up to the main event. These industry-focused events act as a platform for exchanging knowledge and experiences, a necessary bridge between established industry professionals and up-and-coming artists, giving the festival relevance beyond the event gates.

Tickets are available via Nutickets:

R500 – 3-day weekend pass (excluding Madiba concert)

R150 – Friday pass – Views @ Twenty5

R150 – Saturday pass – Views @ Twenty5

R300 – Sunday pass – Blue Lagoon Beach

R300 – Friday Madiba concert – Bat Centre

A full event breakdown is available at

Zakifo aspires to strengthen ties between the cultural communities of the Indian Ocean through its sister festival, Sakifo, held each year in Réunion.

Dub Inc from France, a reggae/dancehall band from Saint-Éttienne. The guys fuse classic roots reggae with dub, dancehall, ska, hip-hop and African influences

Zakifo, founded by Jerome Galabert, Sipho Sithole and Andy Davis, is a member of the Igoda music festival circuit which includes Sakifo Festival in Réunion, Azgo Festival in Mozambique, Bassline Africa Day concert in Johannesburg, and Bushfire Festival in Swaziland.

These festivals happen over a period of three weeks in May and June and have created an artist and festivalgoer touring circuit in the Southern African region.

“Sakifo means ‘what is needed’ in Creole,” says Galabert. “With Zakifo Durban our intention is the same. Through our world-class line-up we strive to inspire and create lasting opportunities for collaboration; cross-cultural exchanges; economic opportunities and skills development.”

“This partnership with Réunion Island has been a dream of mine. I have attended a number of music festivals internationally and there was no better choice and fit than Zakifo to bring to South Africa, particularly my home town and province. Zakifo is a destination festival, a people to people encounter and we guarantee you that over the years this festival will become part of travellers’ annual calendar coming from all over the world,” said Sipho Sithole, one of the festival partners and founder/owner of Native Rhythms.


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