Moshito music conference returns to Johannesburg

The 13th annual Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition will take place from 7 to 10 September at the SABC heaquarters in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

Gigi Lamayne and Roger Lucey are the faces of this year's Moshito conference. Photo: hartroc.com
Gigi Lamayne and Roger Lucey are the faces of this year's Moshito conference. Photo: hartroc.com

Moshito 2016 has lined-up a series of interesting topics, showcases and concerts where music industry practitioners, musicians, festival promoters, booking agents, music managers and exhibitors from various international music markets will come together to interact, discover talent and strike deals necessary for the growth of the music industry.

With over 100 panelists discussing over 12 relevant topics, as well as five breakaways, five plenaries, two workshops, one music managers' meeting and plenty of live showcases from fresh talent, Moshito 2016 is poised to be a place where music meets business and business meets music.

Live events

As was the case last year, Moshito is offering a range of live musical entertainment at night after each day’s conference proceedings.  Among its side events is a concert on Thursday 8 September dubbed ‘Censored: An Afro World Music Night’ at the Joburg Theatre. The night’s line-up will include Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse, The Soil, Tlokwe Sehume, Roger Lucey and Mbuso Khoza featuring the KZN Heritage Ensemble.

On Friday 9 September Moshito’s Beat Festival will take place at Zone 6 Venue in Soweto, where music lovers will be entertained by the hottest urban stars in Bucie, Kwesta, Major League DJs, Emtee, Reason, L-Tido, Gigi LaMayne and more.

On Saturday 10 September the Moshito Street Festival will be held in Melville on the corner of 7th Street and 4th Avenue. Local favourites such as Tidal Waves and Blk Jks will join upcoming talent such as Carli J Myers and Ayanda Tshabalala as well as a host of international acts, including Mozambican rapper Azagaia, Mounawar (Reunion), Tritonik (Mauritius), DJ Scratchy (UK), Sauvage DJ (Reunion) and Hollywood & Vine (Netherlands).

Censorship theme

This year’s theme for Moshito is ‘Censored: When the Revolution Could Not be Televised’, which aims to recognise the voices who bring the plight of marginalised people to public attention through song, for the world to know. The theme speaks to the fact that music can highlight the prevailing socio-economic and political realities of the day, which public authorities can then either take heed of or censor. Indeed all over Africa, censorship versus freedom of speech is a key issue affecting the continent’s music industries.

This theme is particularly significant given South African musicians’ long history of censorship. Ironically it Moshito’s host venue, the SABC, that has been at the forefront of censoring music in South Africa, not only during apartheid but still today. The troubled organisation recently made the controversial move to remove visuals of violent protests ahead of the country’s local elections in early August, a step that saw dissenting journalists summarily axed for speaking their minds (which was subsequently deemed unconstitutional by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa). The cash-strapped organisation’s recent steps to drastically boost local content quotas almost overnight, to dish out cash payouts to 180 lucky musicians and to set up a dedicated music TV channel have also raised questions over which genres and musicians might be sidelined as a result.

Under this theme, anti-apartheid activist and artist Roger Lucey is featured as the 'face' of this year’s event. He was one of three musicians (and the only surviving one) to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the SAMAs earlier this year. The other ambassador of this year’s event is young female rapper Gigi Lamayne, although it’s not clear on how exactly she fits into the theme itself, having only been born in 1994 at the dawn of South Africa’s democracy.

For more details or to book your place, visit the Moshito website or Facebook event page.

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