Grammy award-winning artist Zakes Bantwini made history by becoming the first African artist to headline a show at DHL Stadium in Cape Town

Written by on 31 October, 2023

Grammy award-winning artist Zakes Bantwini made history by becoming the first African artist to headline a show at DHL Stadium in Cape Town. Although the show had a stellar lineup and screened the final game of the Rugby World Cup, many concert goers relayed mixed reviews on social media.

Zakes’ concert, which took place on Saturday, 28 October, included many local artists, such as Nomcebo Zikode, Boity, Mi Casa, YoungstaCPT, Musa Keys, and Ami Faku to name a few. Before the big day, the artist (whose real name is Zakhele Madida) announced the release of his first song, Mama Thula, from his latest album, The Star is Reborn.

Image: Excitement mounts in Cape Town for the highly anticipated Abantu Music Festival, where Zakes Bantwini, along with an all-star lineup, will take over the DHL Stadium this Saturday and become the first African artist to headline a concert at the iconic venue.

A day before the event, the Osama hitmaker confessed on Instagram that he felt “extremely emotional” and wished his mother was with him to witness the history being made.

The 43-year-old has been punting the event, which he’s dubbed Abantu (“the people” in isiZulu), as a show for everybody. “Our slogan is ‘Come for the music, stay for the people’. He wanted this to be a special social event where people mingle and make memories together. He was very clear that the goal of this is to get all of us in one room. It’s not a black show, a white show or something designed for one segment. It’s for all of us.”

Bantwini has been enjoying one hell of a run since his single ‘Osama’ exploded into a global hit. Following a quiet few years, which he spent building his independent record label, Mayonie, ‘Osama’ thrust him back into the spotlight in the summer of 2021. The single went viral on release and went on a record-breaking run of 14 weeks atop the cumulative local radio charts.

‘Osama’, and Bantwini’s subsequent magnum opus album, Ghetto King, saw him bag a host of awards, including two South African Music Awards (Highest Airplay and Best Collaboration).

He followed that up with two hit collaborations in quick succession: ‘iMali’ and ‘Asanda’. Then, in an unprecedented culmination of this success, earlier this year Bantwini won his first Grammy Award for ‘Bayethe’, his collaboration with Wouter Kellerman and Nomcebo Zikode.

The highest level of accolade that can be bestowed in music, the Grammy Award is testament to the fact that Bantwini has a winning recipe. Now, in the midst of his concert promo run, this week Bantwini announced the imminent release of his latest album, A Star is Reborn. The lead single to the album, the long-awaited ‘Mama Thula’, comes out on 27 October, just in time for the concert.

Saturday’s concert carries the added excitement of the live screening of the Rugby World Cup final, where South Africa will face New Zealand at 9pm local time.

“It’s an idea that we’ve had for a while. During the semi-final last weekend I was on the edge of my seat supporting the boys and I’m so happy we managed to pull it off. Now the concert is going to turn into the biggest Rugby World Cup fan park in SA. After my set on Saturday, we’re gonna stop the show right before kick-off and sing the national anthem with thousands of proud South Africans. It’s gonna be special.”

Last week Bantwini also released his highly anticipated single Mama Thula featuring Skye Wanda, Thakzin and Suffocate SA

Gagasi FM

What You Want to Hear