Most people might be familiar with the Buyelekhaya annual music festival which has been taking place for more than 8 years now in East London, but now adding to the colourful December gig guide, is the newly launched annual Buya Live festival which was held at Masingatha village outside King Williamstown on 2 December, 2018. A brainchild of a local couple Mr Moses Gxothiwe and his wife Nwabisa, this new concept took place at the rural setting of the Buyelembo cultural village and was focused on promoting local talent.
Mr Gxothiwe said that the concept is not totally new because they are running a similar thing in Cape Town, but decided to bring it home and introduced a slightly different twist to suite the local market.
“The Buyelembo concept in Cape Town is slightly different in that it’s more like catering and hiring out our venue for events, whereas here it’s all about cultural and talent promotion, and we are also going to add a hospitality element to it. The event we had here is only the first phase of this concept, there is a lot of development that is still going to take place here at the Buyelembo village”, he said.
Speaking to TRU FM just before the start of the festival Phumelele Zonela, a festival management member, said that their focus was a three way approach in trying to equip local talent and the community with as much knowledge as possible and provide scarce opportunities.
“Our event sought to promote local talent by introducing artist to development workshops because we have realised that we are losing a lot of talented artists who end up seeking empowerment and opportunities in Gauteng, whereas there are mechanisms to help them here.
We focused on singers, crafters and visual artists, and we were equipping them with business skills so that they know how to control their finances, secondly we were launching the Buyelembo village, where Buya Live festival will be celebrating our culture annually. Lastly as our theme on our poster it says, “think rural tourism”, thus we wanted to take the challenge to government that there must be more effort and emphasis on rural development and tourism”, he said.