The Motsepe Foundation’s annual Christmas with our People Music Concerts was, once more, a massive success, with thousands of music lovers rocking the day away at venues in in East London (Beach Front) Polokwane (Polokwane Cricket Grounds), Mbombela, and Durban (Marine Parade Northbeach), with the grand finale in Tshwane (Moretele Park Mamelodi).
The series of concerts, staged to provide communities with the opportunity to see the biggest music acts in the country perform, did not disappoint, as the groups gave fans rousing performances at all the venues. The concerts have established themselves as the premier music event of the year since first being staged five years ago. The concert is part of the Motsepe Foundation’s Christmas with Our People initiative which was started as a recognition that there are millions of people who do not share the cheer and joy that go with Christmas because of poverty.
Motsepe Foundation Executive Sizwe Nzimande, described the concerts as the biggest so far, and thanked the musicians for their commitment to the cause. There were some first time performers, among them Nathi of Nomvula fame and DBN NYTS of Shumaya. Other artists included Zahara, Ricky Rick, Professor, DJ Big Nuz, Tira and Thebe. Professor, Mafikizolo, Big Nuz, Ricki Rick, DBN Nyts, Mdu, Donald, Nathi, K.O, Oskido, DJ Naves and Sphe, Zahara, Trombies, Dr Malinga, DJ Tira, Boom Shaka, Mandoza, Thebe and Duncan. Nzimande pointed out that such a line-up would, under normal circumstances, cost revelers anything between R150 and R200 to attend, but with many people from disadvantaged communities not able to afford such amounts, the Motsepe Foundation stages the concerts for free attendance.
“It is one way for us to reach out and contribute to improving the lives of the poor and marginalized citizens of our country. For many, it is the only chance they have to see their favourite musicians live, and nothing pleases the chairman and founder of the Foundation Mr Motsepe and his wifre greater pleasure than to see the joy these concerts bring – and often Mr Motsepe joins in the dancing, much to the delight of the revelers!” he said. “The festive season is the time of the year where the fortunate celebrate the holiday season by exchanging gifts and indulging themselves after a long and hard year,” he said.
“Yet there are thousands amongst us who do not feel the need to celebrate the year as it has brought nothing to celebrate for them. These people, young and old, are the ones for whom the festive season is a horrible reminder of the pain of poverty.”
“The idea is to inspire them and give them a chance to dream of their own ambitions for success.” Nzimande said the concert also provides artists with a world-class platform on which to perform and commercialise their talents. The concerts were free of incidents, and even where rain came down, the fans continued their enjoyment throughout, thanks to the policy of not allowing any bottles into the venue.
At the finale in Tshwane, fans cheered when the victorious Mamelodi Sundowns players made an appearance following the Tshwane side’s Telkom Cup victory over Kaizer Chiefs.
Coach Pitso Mosimane said that the attendance by the players was part of the club’s social responsibility initiative.
“I was worried about the team in the beginning, especially with the weather because it was hot and we came from a game against Kaizer Chiefs and the travelling from Durban,” Mosimane said.
Mosimane added: “On Saturday we had our social responsibility that we do with the Motsepe Foundation with Christmas. We had to go to Orlando and give toys. We had to come to Moreleta Park for the festival. We had to appear and it’s our responsibility.”