Sfaka ku Shisa: Township Music Festival

Sfaka ku Shisa loosely translates to “turning up the heat”. Given how hot Nkomazi often is, how much heat can anyone handle? Well, Mpumalanga and the people of Nkomazi would probably shout back with much gusto and bravado, “A hell of a lot!”


Nkomazi rests on the east of Mbombela, Mpumalanga’s capital. Nkomazi is largely seen as the dusty country cousin in this province. It’s mostly agrarian, its biggest imports being the sugar that Selati gleans from the plentiful sugar cane farmers in Malelane especially. It’s also a juice rich area that tourists to South Africa will enjoy, mango juice especially is a big produce here. But enough with the sweet things, it is Sfaka ku Shisa that is Nkomazi’s hottest contribution.

The youth initiative, is run by an enterprising group of four young men. They consist of part exceptional and extremely respected professionals like land surveyors and such and part music festival runners. This management group exudes passion, the necessary ingredient for any young person or group of young people looking to claim a cut of South Africa’s lucrative entertainment industry cake.


Celuxolo Mpapane, the group’s head of marketing reckons that Sfaka ku Shisa is more than just a music festival. He’s magnetic optimism and vivid vision paints the picture of a music movement looking to battle against the ills of society through the art. He believes that they do not only make music or provide a platform that can help fight drug addiction and unemployment, but he feels that theirs is an art movement looking to inspire the whole of Nkomazi and Mpumalanga.

“Our vision is to allow any artist a stage to showcase their ability, fight drugs and substance abuse through art, fight women abuse and to build Nkomazi’s economy.” It is a tall order for an initiative that runs music festivals at least three times a year. Their vision calls for a consistent community involvement and activism. Celuxolo gives the sense that, that is what they are.
Sfaka ku Shisa has a big draw card in this event, it has managed to capture the attention of Kwesta, arguably South Africa’s most exciting rapper or hip-hop artist. The buzz is electric, the excitement is palpable! Youth crowds out the street slowly moving to the venue, heavily weighed down by cooler bags and large jackets to brave the night’s cold – if you go to Sfaka ku Shisa, expect to stay there a while.
There are a number of lodges in and around Nkomazi that offer visitors accommodation options. Ranging from budget to the more exclusive offerings.


Sfaka ku Shisa offers a 90% local line up and big acts in the country cover the rest of the 10%. For any tourist, to experience the music sentiments of Mpumalanga is to be in tune with its musical inclinations. Sfaka ku Shisa offers just that!

Celuxolo “Vincent” Mpapane 076 165 9958




MyMpumalanga offers a reliable online resource for visitors looking to discover the many hidden gems scattered along the off the beaten track of this mesmeric province.

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