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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist


‘We have not lived up to expectations’ – Basha Uhuru organisers after Kabza De Small’s no-show

Some fans have accused the award winning producer of prioritising Shimza’s Kunye show which also took place on Saturday.


The Basha Uhuru festival has owned up to not delivering on the performance of headliner Kabza De Small who was a no-show over the weekend.

“Constitution Hill takes responsibility when we have not lived up to the expectations we presented. We apologise to our festival goers for the disappointment regarding Kabza De Small’s scheduled performance,” Constitution Hill’s marketing and communications manager Janine Levinia Muthusamy told The Citizen.

Kabza, whose real name is Kabelo Motha, was scheduled to perform at the 12th edition of the festival at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, on Saturday.

“We heard back from his team 20 minutes before the event closed, noting they were delayed at a previous gig and had a flat tyre. Our team had tried to get a hold of his team through the night, with no avail,” said Muthusamy.

The Citizen reached out to Kabza’s team and his response will be added if it comes.

The award winning producer has been accused of prioritising performing at Shimza’s Kunye show, but Kabza has multiple gigs every weekend and it would be strange to assume he couldn’t honour Basha Uhuru solely because he was booked by Shimza.

“I’m such a big fan. I was really disappointed because we arrived early to get the front row! He chose Kunye!” commented Kimberly Ramolefi on an Instagram post by the festival explaining Kabza’s absence.

“This is probably the real reason you didn’t post the schedule. You actually had no idea what time one of your main artists would pitch and so decided to gaslight festivalgoers into a fake go with the flow vibe,” commented Obakhe uBuhle Futshane on the same post.

“It is extremely inconsiderate to have expected festivalgoers to show up not knowing who is going to perform during peak winter. As for this Kabza flat tyre story, it’s wild that this is something you find acceptable and reasonable to communicate to your festivalgoers. Do better and respect your supporters.”

Participants and performers included Sophie Ndaba, Mmabatho Montsho, MÖRDA, Nadia Nakai, FKA Mash, Kujenga, Holly Rey and Solo Ntsizwa ka Mthimkhulu.

ALSO READ: Kabza’s songs given a classic twist in collaboration with orchestra conductor

The festival

Sjava was expected to perform around 10PM on Saturday but ended up performing later in the evening.

“On the morning of the event upon receiving a request from Kabza de Small’s team, we accommodated a request to move his set from 21h00 to 00h00. Hence the timing for Sjava’s performance had changed. All artists were gracious and accommodated our requests.”

The Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival has become one of Gauteng’s biggest youth arts events attracting thousands of youth from diverse cultural backgrounds to Constitution Hill to commemorate Youth Month together in a safe and critically engaging environment.

“We are proud of the multiple events produced over the three day event. Both the Creative Conference and Film festival were at maximum capacity and the music festival was 85% total capacity,” said Muthusamy.

This year’s edition was themed ‘30 Years of Creative Freedom’ – highlighting the role of young people and their participation in creative and social movements.

Last year’s recipient of the Basha Legends award, Thebe, presented the gong to Kwaito group Alaska.

NOW READ: Film festival pays homage to class of ’76 through opportunity to young filmmakers

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