Soweto's golden hour

Sounds of jazz, hip-hop, R&B and house music pulsated through the streets of Orlando East as sexy and elegant party goers arrived at the Amstel Golden Hour Soweto Session just before sunset on Saturday.

The Amstel Golden Hour is an initiative by the company aimed at promoting live music from emerging artists as well as established deejays and musicians—with Soweto as a backdrop to their events.

The idea is to plan an event every month to showcase this city within a city. The series was launched on December 5 2010 with performances by the likes of hip-hop sensation Tumi (of Tumi and the Volume) alongside Aka and Pops Mohammed.

It will be held at the popular Orlando Tower’s Chaf Pozi venue in Orlando East.

Saturday’s live performances included new hip-hop artist Mphoza and his band, Afro-pop group, UJU and the soulful RJ Benjamin who blew the fans away.

New hip-hop kid on the block Mphoza performs with his live band. (Ayanda Sitole, M&G)

Partygoers enjoyed township culture with African cuisine also known as “chisa nyama” or pap and vleis. They were also entertained by some adrenalin junkies who dared to try their hand at bungee jumping from the 100m-tall twin towers.

“We at Amstel see ourselves as enablers, a support system that is able to create opportunities for talented, quality artists to perform in accessible settings,” explained Amstel brand manager, Nomonde Donsa. “The Amstel Golden Hour Soweto Sessions is our way of saluting excellence and quality in established and emerging musical talent—and giving audiences the amazing music they want.”

Kabelo, who attended the event with his friends, excitedly described it as being “hot” and said, “I would like to host an event like that one day, I like the live bands and the profiling of the people who were there.”

His friend seemed to be bowled over by UJU’s performance. “UJU made me feel like I could have been at a music festival in Europe,” he said. “They’ve got good international appeal — South Africans create some of the best music in the world.”

Emerging Afro-pop sensation UJU pose in front of the landmark towers at Chaf Phoza in Orlando East. (Ayanda Sitole, M&G)

People who attended the event were impressed by the performance of new hip-hop kid on the block, Mphoza. The rare combination of hip-hop artists with a live band added an entertainment value that had the audience talking.

RJ Benjamin, the main act for the evening, has performed several times in the township. He is known for the house compilations that he has worked on with various artists.

Benjamin announced to the surprised audience that he would be retiring from performing his own music on stage and will continue working behind the scenes to write, compile and produce for other up and coming artists. He also said it was good to see that companies are investing in young talent but more importantly he was impressed to see that the demand for live performances was increasing.

RJ Benjamin was the main act for the evening where he gave what he says will be his last stage performance. (Ayanda Sitole, M&G)

Ticket prices vary and are made known closer to the time. We paid R30 ahead of the time for Saturday’s tickets, which went for R50 at the door. For more information and to book tickets for future events call Tumi Rametse on 011 447 5655 or email

Venue: Chaf Pozi, Orlando Towers, Soweto
Confirmed dates: March 26, April 30, June 5

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