'Let’s go’ to Maputo’s Azgo festival

Going to Maputo: Switzerland's Pablo Nouvelle is one of the acts to see at the sixth Azgo Festival in Maputo (Torvioll.com)

Going to Maputo: Switzerland's Pablo Nouvelle is one of the acts to see at the sixth Azgo Festival in Maputo (Torvioll.com)

The sixth Azgo festival in Maputo features is not only about great artists from Africa and other parts of the world, but also concern about people’s living conditions in the city.

The festival organisers, in partnership with the Mozambican Association for Recycling, aim to improve waste management and recycling, and all profits go to community organisations in Maputo.  

The event, which is part of the African Music Festival Network, is named after an old slang word from Maputo, which means “let’s go” — let’s go and revisit our cultures and heritage — explains Paulo Chibanga, the festival director and drummer of renowned band 340ml.

Acclaimed Mozambican painter and muralist Naguib Elias whose imagery is featured on the festival posters, inspired the Azgo brand, he says.

Afro soul star Zahara and DJ Kenzhero will fly the South African flag at the two-day arts festival. Zahara, the multi-award winning vocalist and guitarist released her last album County Girl in 2015.
DJ Kenzhero (born Kenneth Nzama) is a respected DJ and music producer, known for his crowd-pulling hip-hop events, Party People.

Azgo will cater for a diverse audience of festivalgoers by featuring Afro soul, coupé-décalé, hip-hop, pop and marrabenta (traditional Mozambican dance rhythms with Portuguese folk music). 

Hip-hop artist Azagaia will share the stage with fellow Mozambican stars, dub reggae fusion band GranMah, soul R&B musician Deltino Guerreiro and Afro percussion group Timbila Muzimba. 

Other names include Kenyan afro-pop band Sauti Sol, Portuguese singer and musician Lura of Cape Verdean descent, Angolan poet and musician Paulo Flores and Swazi soul singer Bholoja. 

Diasporic African artists include Cameroonian New Zealander act Estère and Canadian Somali “doom soul” artists Cold Specks. Switzerland’s Pablo Nouvelle, Maya Kamaty (Reunion Island), Kingfisha (Australia) and ZA! (Spain) round out the international artists.

Workshops, entitled “Azgo Dialogar”, will offer international and local musicians the platform to exchange music and knowledge. 

The festival is on May 20 and 21 and will take place at Eduardo Mondlane University. For more info visit azgofestival.com

Katlego Mkhwanazi

Katlego Mkhwanazi

Katlego Mkhwanazi is the Mail & Guardian's arts, culture and entertainment content producer. She started her career in magazines, before joining the Mail & Guardian team in 2014. She is an entertainer at heart. Read more from Katlego Mkhwanazi

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