By Tusani Mnyandu
“Many things may not work that well in Makhanda, but Masicule! is one of those things that works very well.” This is how a colleague described the music show that takes place in Makanda annually.
Yele, Yele, Masicule!, is the song that set the scene for what was to be a night of jubilation. The Guy Butler Theatre at the Monument came alive: foot-tapping, hand-clapping, and finger-clicking complemented the voices so magically. A positive cloud hovered over the venue birthing positive vibes only. I indeed at that point felt that everything was well – I got to escape the realities of load shedding and water rationing.
Brook Benton, in the album the Gospel Truth, sings “ if you think God is dead, you better look around”. The Duet of Liyabona Qutwa and Oyama Vena from Nombulelo Senior Secondary School took me to heaven when they performed Pelo E Ja Serati. What a sensation! I was still sipping coffee with St Peter and the Angels when the Makhanda Kwantu Choir and Rhodes University Chamber Choir mesmerised me with a medley of Baba wethu ( The Lord’s Prayer ) and Ewe Gethsemane. Like John Legend, I was walking on Cloud 9.
At some point, I went back to the 50s and 60s with songs like Isimanga and Thula Mama. The choir did justice to Nomfundo Xaluva’s Bayathetha, while the songstress played the piano before joining the choir in song, Kutlwano Kepadisa was conducting. Xaluva went on two lead more songs – Need you to survive and Thula Ndivile. This time around she had taken off her high heels: it was going down.
The entire event was world-class, very well organised and definitely exceeded my expectations. It showcased why Makhanda is called the Creative City. The rainbow nation was epitomised in the theatre. I felt very proud to be a South African and even prouder to be a resident of Makhanda. It was truly inspirational. I was convinced that as residents of Makhanda we can do more to make our town work. I am more positive than I was before I attended the Masicule! event. I hope that the event grows from strength to strength and becomes even bigger. If Masicule! works so well, Makhanda can work as well.