ESSENCE PRE-EVENT PROMOTES MORE THAN JUST MUSIC
*Caption: Deputy Mayor, Cllr Fawzia Peer and Maskandi artist Phuzekhemisi at the Essence Music Festival pre-event.
Article and video by: Samkele Sokhela
The eThekwini Municipality held a pre-event at the Durban City Hall on Friday as part of the countdown to the main Essence Festival event that will take place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium next month.
The event had numerous upcoming artists showcasing their talent on the big stage. Several well-known faces in the South African entertainment industry attended as guests.
The Deputy Mayor of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Cllr Fawzia Peer said that the objective of the pre-event was to give upcoming artists a platform to showcase their talent, promote the upcoming main event and create job opportunities using entertainment.
“The Essence festival that we are promoting today is not only about music. It’s also about how we can use entertainment in creating other positive things,” said Peer.
“This festival will create jobs, give our local artists a chance to share their talents with huge International stars. Since the event starts from the 8th of November to the 13th, in between the dates there will be informative programmes where business people will get to hear from high businessmen like Steve Harvey and more,” she added.
Peer went on to applaud the eThekwini’s decision to partner in the international stage with American city, New Orleans.
“It does not get better than this. New Orleans and Durban are sister cities, and we are very thrilled to be the hosting city of an event of this magnitude,” concluded Peer.
The audience was greatly blown away by the undiscovered talent they witnessed.
And one of the artists who left the stage while the crowd was still asking for more, Mthokozisi Mathebula, a beat-boxing artist whose stage name is K2, said programmes such as the Essence festival are playing a substantial role to them as undiscovered artists.
“These events means a lot to us artist. I mean, we appreciate these events because they bring us closer to recognised artists that we look up to, artists that are our inspiration and that we only see on television. I mean, growing up who knew that I will one day perform on the same stage as Ne-Yo? (American singer),” said Mathebula.
The Essence Music Festival is an annual event that began in 1994 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence, a magazine aimed primarily towards African-American women. It is known as the largest event celebrating African-American culture and music in the United States.