Locals who have had Zonke’s ‘Feelings’ play soundtrack to their lives for the past couple of years will be glad to learn the South African songstress is likely to perform live in Gaborone, in March, courtesy of the Hamptons Jazz Festival.
It will be Zonke’s second visit to Gaborone in just a couple of months after gracing Botswana Craft late last year. Also expected to perform on the night is the legendary Stimela (SA). Their last visit was in 2013 when they played at the Boosta Bash.
It will be only the second instalment of the Hamptons Jazz Festival after hosting a successful show in 2014 that featured among others Shanti Lo, Nnunu Ramogotsi as well as the legendary South African jazz greats, Hugh Masekela and Tshepo Tshola.
Debbie Smith of Hamptons Promoters says local group, Metrophones, will also perform at this year’s event among many other artists yet to be confirmed.
“We can also confirm the Metrophones will be a part of the festival,” she tells Arts and Society. “They won our hearts during a talent search we ran on our website last year and the girls are excited about playing at the festival.”
Smith says the festival provides a good opportunity to sell Gaborone and Botswana to outsiders and provide economic opportunities for the locals.
“This is the time to brand Botswana by having the Hamptons International Jazz Festival attract music tourism into our beloved country, she said.
She says they intend to sell Gaborone as the destination of choice for jazz music in Southern Africa through the festival.
“Festivals provide the host city and tourism sector at large with an ideal opportunity to use consumer oriented cultural forms to distinguish themselves in the highly competitive and increasingly global market place,” Smith says, adding, “it is without doubt that several cities around the world have invested heavily in festivals as part of their urban regeneration and city marketing strategies.”
She cites Zimbabwe’s Harare International Festival for the Arts (HIFA), Cape Town Jazz Festival, Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival, and UK’s Glastonbury Festival as some of the signature festivals that continue to benefit the host cities and by extension, the countries.
“The British Prime Minister also supports the Glastonbury as it brings well over millions of music tourists into the country.”
This year’s Hamptons festival, scheduled for March 28, will coincide with the Cape Town Jazz Festival but Smith remains adamant the timing will not have a negative bearing on attendance. Despite a postponement and some controversy surrounding last year’s festival, it still went on to register an impressive attendance.
“We have been asked several times if we are insane for picking the 28th March which is the date for the Cape Town Jazz Festival”, Smith says, “and my answer is that sometimes one has to have big balls if you need to succeed.” In the spirit of compassion that has engulfed the nation lately the Hamptons Promoters will also donate part of the profits from the festival to Abian Ntshabele.
“We would also like to raise funds for a little girl named Abby that we all know by now, currently in UK with her mother Tiny (Ntshabele),” Smith says. Tiny, she says, attended the first festival held at Duma FM grounds last year. “There may be enough funds for her (Abian) to go to China but when she gets back she will need recuperation and rehabilitation,” Smith says.