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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

ZA Fest and KAMERS Makers: Music, markets, and meaningful giving

Raised funds will be donated to efforts undertaken by Gift of The Givers to help provide relief in light of what happened in Tongaat.

KwaZulu-Natal music festival the ZA Fest and KAMERS Makers will take place as scheduled later this month. It has committed itself to donating money to those affected by the tornado that hit Tongaat.

“ZA Fest will be allocating a portion of the event’s ticket sales to support relief efforts to help those affected by the natural disaster,” Co-Founder of the ZA Fest Evan Roberts, told The Citizen.

Giving back

“These funds will be donated to efforts undertaken by Gift of The Givers to help provide relief in light of what happened this week with the unexpected damage and destruction in some areas close to where the festival will be happening,” he said.

On Monday a tornado struck parts of the province with Tongaat being the worst hit, with at least five fatalities.

There has been extensive damage to infrastructure, households with roofs blown off, and trees falling on electricity lines.

According to Roberts, some people employed by ZA Fest and its service providers were also directly impacted by the tornado.

“The loss that communities have experienced has really resonated with us, especially seeing as some of the staff who work for us have had their homes severely damaged with great loss of personal belongings as a direct result of the tornado,” said Roberts.

He said they’re trying their best to assist communities in rebuilding what they’ve lost.  

“In addition to the percentage of ticket sales that we’ll be donating to help communities impacted by the tornado, we’ll also be amplifying efforts for disaster relief undertaken by Wonderbag, which people can donate to on their website.”

ZA Fest held in Salt Rock this year

The second ZA Fest will take place from the 14 to the 17 June in Salt Rock. The organisers have reassured patrons that the four-day festival will not be cancelled. Tongaat is situated 12 kilometres from Salt Rock.

“Fortunately, the tornado did not impact the venue and festival infrastructure (the Manor House in Sheffield). Areas like Ballito and Sheffield seemed to experience severe storm weather conditions. However, they but were not impacted as badly as other areas like Tongaat and Stanger,” he said.

ALSO READ: At least five dead after heavy rains and tornado hit KZN

Attendee safety

Roberts said the safety of visitors to the festival is a top priority for the organisers. Ample security measures will be in place to ensure the safety and enjoyment of festivalgoers.

“We take great pride in positioning this festival as a family-friendly event that provides local artisans, artists and entertainers with a much-needed platform to showcase their talent and wares to fellow South Africans.”

The festival will see Jesse Clegg and America’s Got Talent finalists, with the Ndlovu Youth Choir expected to perform on Youth Day.

“The crowd atmosphere in Ballito was electric. We felt such incredible energy and love from the stage. Although we’ve performed worldwide, our performance in Ballito was a highlight of 2023. We can’t wait to be back,” said Artistic Director of The Ndlovu Youth Choir Ralf Schmitt about returning to the ZA Fest stage.

The young Clegg, who is one of the headliners, also spoke of excitement about returning to the festival.

“It’s like a homecoming. I’ve always loved performing here. I’m looking forward to feeling the crowd’s energy and introducing them to some of my new material that reflects where I am as an artist,” he said.

NOW READ: WATCH: Tornado hits Tongaat in KZN, causing extensive damage