Warm reception for the Maskandi duo’s European tour

The sound of the internationally acclaimed maskandi duet Qadasi and Maqhinga, who are presently touring Europe, is attracting the attention of music fans. The group is performing in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Belgium.

Qadasi and Maqhinga, are SAMA Award-winning pair from Empangeni in the center of Zululand, are on a mission to bring back the ferocious sounds of traditional Maskandi music. Having the same aim and being both accomplished musicians in their own right, their collaboration has produced music of an international standard that embodies the essence of South African roots music.

Before moving on to Denmark on June 28, their European tour began on June 24 in Hermannsburg, Germany, where they gave four shows. They shared the stage in Denmark with the well-known Baobab Sisters band. The Baobab Sisters play cover songs by Miriam Makeba and South African wedding music.

Maqhinga said the tour has been going well so far while speaking to South African media from Germany. “It’s been going well, and we’re happy that people enjoy our songs. It was great to perform with the Baobab Sisters. They first met us in Denmark in 2018, and this time they came along. So far so good and we have been receiving a lot of support and love from the people in these places. People love the sound and are interested in the group, history of maskandi music, and history of Zulu people.”

Maqhinga cited the invitation from the family of former Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter to Sweden as one of the tour’s highlights. “We had a great time with Baxter’s family and we even performed at his house and it was packed. Coach Stuart did not have an idea of the music we do, the person who has been following us is the daughter. But he was blown away and loved that we are a rainbow nation group. He said he had stayed in South Africa but was never exposed to something like this.”

Qadasi added: “What we love is that in some venues we had more South Africans supporting us while in other venues it was Germans.”Remaining in Germany till July 17, the group is carrying on with their tour. On July 13, they have a concert in Brussels planned.

At the Wiesbanden Afrika Festival in Germany, Qadasi and Maqhinga will perform alongside the Cuban Son/Salsa Band Los 4 del Son, Senegalese singer Havana Ndiankou, South American band Bateria Caipirinha, and Cameroonian Dr Sley and the Ambassadors.

David Jenkins, popularly known as Qadasi, is a skilled Maskandi guitarist, concertina, banjo, and vocalist who at an early age fell deeply in love with Zulu culture and music while touring Zululand with his late journalist father. Over time, this passion grew rapidly, and as a result, he developed a love for traditional music.

After being granted the chance to tour the USA with Ladysmith Black Mambazo as a part of the stage play Nomathemba, Maqhinga Radebe’s career began to take off in the mid-1990s.

Together with Sibongiseni and Thamsanqa Shabalala, Maqhinga founded the band Shabalala Rhythm upon his return to South Africa. Maqhinga’s talent was highlighted by the group’s subsequent success, elevating him to a prominent and well-respected figure in the Maskandi arts community.

Maqhinga, who has released five solo albums, has won various accolades for his incredible musical abilities, including nominations for the SAMA and SATMA Awards.

The two of them have been touring domestically and internationally with their eclectic mix for the past few years, performing for crowds in the UK, Europe, Asia, and all throughout South Africa. They published Lashis’ Ilanga, their first joint album, in 2016. It was then shortlisted for a 2017 SAMA Award for Best Traditional Album.

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