POLOKWANE – Revellers at the grand Mapungubwe arts and culture festival in Polokwane in Limpopo were kept on their feet through Saturday night as local and international artists dished out crowd favourites one after the other.

Hailed as the queen of South African music Thandiswa Mazwai lived up to her billing, sparking emotional scenes with some couples in the Polokwane Cricket Club clinging together as she serenaded the crowd with hits such as Ingoma, Ndilinde, and some tracks from her latest album Belede – named for her mother.

Despite pelting the crowd with numerous hits, the insatiable, lively revellers were still asking for more when Mazwai exited the giant stage.

Three-time Grammy award-winning singer, Benin’s Angelique Kidjo, headlined the music extravaganza with electric dances, taking moments to interact with the responsive crowd.

Numerous local artists, mainly from the Limpopo province, also hit the right notes with the enchanted crowd.

The annual showcase kicked off with a carnival parade in Polokwane on December 1 and its end is signaled by the musical extravaganza on Saturday night.

As is the annual trend, numerous cultural and heritage-related events have been taking place across the province, as part of the Mapungubwe arts and culture festival.

“This is one of the biggest cultural festivals in the country; it is now a national kind of event, not only restricted to Limpopo. We received quite a lot of people this time, not only from other parts of the country, but also from other neighbouring countries,” Limpopo Tourism Agency spokesman Mike Tautsoala told African News Agency.

The cultural festival celebrates Mapungubwe, a pre-colonial state in Southern Africa in the northern part of South Africa bordering present-day Botswana and Zimbabwe in the 13th century.

The Kingdom of Mapungubwe lasted for around 80 years and researchers say at its peak had about 5000 people.

As the December festive season sets in, Tautsoala said Limpopo, “the gateway province to the rest of the African continent”, was already a hive of activity with tourists and other travellers.

“The coincidence of having our Mapungubwe festival coinciding with the festive season is actually a very big boost for us. We already have quite a lot of people coming to the province for numerous activities.

We also have people who are passing-by. Our message is that they should not only pass-by without taking a ‘shot left’ to view some of our products like the Kruger National Park, resorts, and establishment with a wealth of wildlife,” said Tautsoala.

Limpopo sport, arts, and culture MEC Onicca Moloi said the celebration of Mapungubwe calls for Africans to unite and co-exist.

“This is a time for us to reflect over how great of a continent we are, and how rich we are. It is a reminder for us to unite as Africans, regardless of the fact that you are from Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, or Tanzania, we are one nation. We have just been divided by borders,” said Moloi.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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