The Zakifo Muzik Festival takes its inspiration from Reunion Island’s premier live music event, Sakifo, which brings a diverse and eclectic mix of international musicians ranging from pop to reggae and world music as well as indigenous sounds from Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.
Now that world-class island magic comes to Durban this weekend with a lineup of international local artists.
Zakifo is a member of the FireFest Route, a regional fraternity of music festivals that take place over the months of May and June each year, including Bushfire in Swaziland, Azgo in Mozambique and Sakifo (its sister festival) in Reunion Island.
The opening night at Durban’s City Hall features Zulu folk legend Madala Kunene in collaboration with Reunion Island’s Maloya singer/songwriter Nathalie Natiembe. They will be followed by the a cappella Afro-soul sounds of Mzansi’s SAMA award-winning trio The Soil.
On Friday the festival moves to the Beer Hall complex in Rivertown for an evening of contemporary world, pop and groove sounds that includes the return of the world-class Mozambican dubstars 340ml Sound System. Gren Semé, Reunion’s masters of percussive Maloya music traditionally sung in Creole, share the bill with Cape Town Afro-pop band John Wizards and Brazilian bossa nova-meets-ragga songstress Flavia Coelho . They set the stage and the tempo for dynamic electro duo Veranda Panda and Mzansi’s “Jika” all-stars Mi Casa before French DJ duo Epic Empire takes dancers through to the early hours.
On Saturday Durban’s own king of dark electro, Felix Laband, kicks off the night. He is followed by Cape Town groove duo Christian Tiger School, Pretoria garage rock duo Make Overs, Durban hip hop stalwart Raheem, and Durban production wizard Sketchy Bongo and friends (Kyle Deutschmann, Witness the FUNK, Gemini, Sheen Skaiz and Aewon Wolf). Rounding out the festival will be Tumi, from the Volume, with a whole new set followed by Nucleya, straight from Ahmedabad, India, dropping some heavy electronic Bollywood beats.
Zakifo Muzik takes place 11-13 June at Durban City Hall and Rivertown Beer Hall. Check the website for tickets and more information.