By Vusi Kama

The Mahika Mahikeng gospel spread wide and far last week when the flagship event was launched to a national and global audience in Johannesburg’s Maboneng.

Members of the media – ranging from print to electronic and social – attended the star-studded launch. The North West capital’s own Mafikeng FM was there to broadcast proceedings live.

“The idea of a Gauteng launch is to promote the Festival to people beyond the province,” said Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation (Acsr) Department spokesperson, Shuping Sebolecwe. “We want Mahika Mahikeng to be a key driver of the economy, to model what we say the arts play an important role in the economy.” He said Acsr wanted the benefits from Mahika Mahikeng to be broad not only to for the artists, but also for sectors such as catering, accommodation and fuel services.

The launch may have been in Johannesburg, but the Maftown atmosphere was palpable. Bringing the Mafikeng magic to the fore was programme director on the day, Stoan Seate, as well as Bee Sting (who will be performing on December 9) and Mma Ausi.

Seate paid tribute to his hometown and praised the number of national artists produced by the province.

Thebe, who grew up in Mahikeng, was also there, and so was Judith Sephuma. They will be sharing the stage on the main festival on December 10.

Spearheaded by popular American songstress Karyn White, the main festival is packed with well-known entertainers such as Vusi Nova, Tshedi Mholo, Jaziel Brothers and Freddy Gwala.

An Amapiano night is scheduled for December 8. It will feature genre heavyweights such as Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa, Tira, Big Zulu and Kwesta.

The Festival runs from December 7 – 9 at the Mmabatho Stadium.

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