By DANA OSBORN
You may not know the names Erich Siseko, Andile ‘Johnny’, and Joseph Mfundo Scott, but if you have visited The Long Table, you will know their voices. You can find these three men, come rain or shine, standing in the muted orange tones of the High Street streetlights. Placed at their feet are takeaway containers and loose change.
For years, the trio has been singing outside the Long Table, a renowned restaurant and bar that opens each year during the National Arts Festival. It is a hotspot for performers and festival-goers because of its tasty food and vibey atmosphere. The trio of Makhandan locals, who spend the day herding and guarding cars on High Street until the sun sets, dream of sharing their voices far and wide.
“We sing to get support, but also to get people to hear us. We want to share our message with people. Maybe someone, somewhere, can help us,” said Scott, continuing with a hand over his heart. “We love singing! We’re proud of our voices, and we’re proud of our music. We want people to know that we want to go far with our singing. In my vision, I see us singing on the TV.”
But they do not sing only for the love of music. They take the initiative so that they can help to look after their families, “It’s painful to live in the location with nothing to eat,” Andile explained. “We have responsibilities in our house; there are elders, and I have a child. So, we come here and sing.”