Tribute to the Kwaito Legends

14 October & live streamed on 22 October 2021

As part of the 2021 Arts Alive programme the City of Johannesburg will host a Tribute to the Kwaito Legends activity on 14 October 2021.
The programme will to reflect on Kwaito as the first African (Black) controlled commercial music in South Africa, which thus constitutes the beginning of an important period of economic empowerment especially for black artists in the South African music industry.

The event will be presented in a hybrid format, recorded in front of a live audience on 14 October 2021 at Soweto Theatre and streamed on 22 October 2021.

Kwaito as a music genre was born in Soweto during the democratisation of South Africa and quickly became a voice of black youth during the post-apartheid era. It is therefore befitting that the occasion of this magnitude takes place in one of Soweto’s prestigious facilities, the Soweto Theatre.

The emergence of Kwaito influenced and changed the face of the creative sector in South Africa, specifically the music industry. It saw the flourishing of many black owned Independent record labels resulting in a creation of a value chain which generated numerous employment opportunities for youth in the townships that included artists, producers, managers, technicians, promoters, musicians, dancers etc.

The event will be presented into two sessions, a dialogue and the celebration of the genre with music performances by Kwaito legends.
The dialogue will reflect on the role of Kwaito in revolutionising the music industry in South Africa, a conversation by Kwaito producers and Kwaito artists. It will also reflect on the evolution of Kwaito, the Culture of Kwaito and the role of women in the Kwaito industry.

Performances will see Kwaito legends taking to the stage beltering Kwaito hits which to a large extent symbolised change particularly of norms in the South African music industry.

Second session performances will fuse screening of passed-on Kwaito artists’ slideshows with a DJ playing their music as a tribute to passed-on artists. The Dj will also play music of Kwaito artists not featured in the event.

The performances of Joe Nina, Mapaputsi, Nestum, Thebe, Trompies and Zola 7, amongst others, will also include a Kwaito artist that worn the 2020 Arts Alive Battle of the Regions (BOTR), which is a music development programme. This will mark a milestone in the development of an emerging artist who will share the stage with Kwaito legends.