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Sophiatown comes to Maseru


Mohalenyane Phakela

IN response to a resurgence of interest in the music of a bygone era, Maseru Sun Cabanas will next Saturday host legendary South African crooners, Bapsy Mlangeni and Steve Kekana.

According to Sun International Lesotho Marketing Manager, Refiloe Mohlotsane, the event is meant to evoke memories of a vibrant and creative era epitomised by Sophiatown township in Johannesburg.

Sophiatown was a multi-cultural area known for its bohemian lifestyle and as a hive of intellectual, artistic, religious and political activity.

“Sun International has been hosting Sophiatown-themed events in recent years with the intention of reminding the older generation of their golden years when they used to rock the discos and have fun,” Mohlotsane said.

“The other objective is to give the youth the glimpse of how their parents used to entertain themselves. So this will be a priviledge for them to sample something different from the hip hop and house tunes they dance to every weekend in clubs around town.

“Added to that, Lesotho and SA were more or less a united entity as we had our people working in their mines while South Africans sought refugee here during the apartheid era.”

Singer and songwriter Kekana has proved that disability cannot stand in the way of one’s dreams. He lost his sight at the age of five but that did not deter him from becoming a successful musician and academic. He has recorded over 40 albums with his standout track, Raising My Family, a hit in Europe in the 1980s.

Much like Kekana, Mlangeni also lost his sight at the tender age of three. He forayed in the music industry in 1968, with his first single, Sala Ema, released the following year to critical acclaim.

Mlangeni managed to become a household name despite plying his trade in the constrictive era of apartheid South Africa. This led to him being featured in 2009 novel Beyond Memory by Max Mojapelo which chronicles the history of South African township music. He also owns events outfit Jozi Entertainment which organises high profile and government ceremonies.

According to Mohlotsane, the duo will share the stage with local deejays Alex and Napolena of Jam Sessions as part of the hotel group’s mission to empower local promoters and artists.

“We are committed to providing a platform for local acts by incorporating them in our events and giving them the opportunity to showcase their creative skills,” she said.

“During our Back to School event, we worked with LESTOKU, and this time around, the spotlight will be on Jam Sessions.”

Mohlotsane added that revelers will be expected to be dressed according to the Sophiatown theme, with prizes in store for Best Dressed and Best Dancer winners courtesy of Sun International. The prizes, she said, would include lunch and dinner packages.



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