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The 2023 Folklore Festival: A Celebration of African Heritage and Culture



The 2023 Folklore Festival A Celebration of African Heritage and Culture

The Folklore Festival is set to return on September 16, 2023, at the National School of the Arts in Braam Park, Johannesburg, offering a vibrant celebration of African identity, culture, customs, and heritage during Heritage Month. The family-friendly festival promises an unforgettable experience, featuring a pan-African showcase of music, literature, crafts, and cuisine for all ages. The event will include a music concert on the main stage, workshops, a book fair on the storyteller’s stage, a kids’ area with drumming circles and playtime singing, as well as traditional dancers, providing a rich cultural experience as reported by Quicket.

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The festival has already announced its lineup of artists for the second annual Folklore Festival in 2023, including renowned performers:

Sho Madjozi (SA): The Afro-centric poet, rapper, and artist known for her dynamic fusion of Tsonga, English, and Swahili languages, Afro-pop rhythms, and Gqom beats. Sho Madjozi is also sharing her children’s book, “ShoMa & The Stars,” at the festival.

Vusi Mahlasela (SA): Dubbed “The Voice” of South Africa, Vusi Mahlasela is celebrated for his powerful voice and poetic, optimistic lyrics. He is releasing his 8th studio album, “Umoya,” in September, marking his first studio album of new songs in 13 years.


Thandeka Mfinyongo (SA): Known for her enchanting vocals and mastery of uhadi and umrhubhe, Thandeka Mfinyongo will captivate the audience alongside the uhadi duo Ancient Voices, featuring Kim Masala on Mbira and Percussion.

Makadem (Kenya) ft. Eddie Grey: Makadem, a Nyatiti musician from Kenya, brings the hypnotic rhythm of the Nyatiti, a Luo lyre, into modern sounds. He collaborates with jazz virtuoso Eddie Grey to create a fusion of traditional and contemporary music.

Josh Meck: An award-winning jazz/world music artist, Josh Meck merges Zimbabwean traditional rhythms with jazz elements for a captivating musical journey.

DJ Nicky B (South Africa): Nicky Blumenfeld, known as Nicky B, is a DJ, producer, and advocate for world and folk music. She has been the producer-presenter of ‘The World Show’ on Johannesburg-based radio station Kaya FM 95.9 for 26 years and is returning to the festival with her infectious beats and melodies.

The Folklore Festival Book Fair will feature African authors like Zulaikha Patel, Zinhle Matthews, Amo and Nkuli Nkosi, and more. Additionally, the Folklore Festival Food and Crafts Market will offer a diverse range of proudly African products crafted by talented artisans.


The festival, curated by storyteller and creative artist Pilani Bubu, aims to foster inter-generational dialogue, indigenous knowledge sharing, and the preservation of African folklore, ultimately strengthening African identity.

Folklore Festival 2023 is supported by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and the National Arts Council. The festival is produced by Bupila Publishing (Pty) Ltd T/A Bupila Creative Lifestyle CO.

Early bird tickets are available at a 50% discount for kids and adults until August 16, 2023.

For more information, visit folklore. community or contact [email protected].

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Photo: Facebook / @Pilani Bubu

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