On 23 September, various artists from around Grahamstown showcased their talents at the SSS Sports Bar. The “Crowning Day Unplugged” aimed to showcase local artists within the Eastern Cape. It was a celebration of the release of Crowning Day, the mixtape by rapper Yonela Faba.
The night was nothing short of talent; from poets, singers, guitarists and rappers. The event was organised by Faba, the main act of the show, “We often wait for government hand-outs or help from exploitative promoters but this was to show that if they really want it, you can make it happen” said Faba. The entry fee was R50 individually and R90 for two. When asked about the plans for the money raised, Faba answered, “I don’t like counting my eggs before they hatch, so I’d rather show you than tell you”.
The opening acts of the night were Asonele Phiri (Black Madonna), Flow, Luvuyo (14k), Naledi and Ntseka, Tswak’godess Van Der Hipi, Si-Ye’, BPM the Greatest, Legion and the main act, Yonela. These acts did not only entertain, but also had a message for the audience to take home. One of the artists, who goes by the name of Asonele, aims to advocate revolutionary acts through his music. “I want the LGBTQ++ community to be able to breed confidence once again. I want to change the narrative” said Asonele.
For lovers of poetry and soulful music, the performances satisfied their tastes with several performances being accompanied by a guitarist and the final performance with a live band. The events received mixed reviews but most were positive. According to Munyaradzi Chivungwa, even though the night was alcohol infused, the genre of hip hop that was performed favoured a smaller intimate crowd. Nonjabulo Malinga felt that the crowd was very receptive, which aided the performers in gaining confidence to display their talents to the best of their abilities. The event was nothing short of a breath of fresh air, whether you are a lover of poetry or taking a break from the Grahamstown party scene.
Words by Esihle Faltein and Donavan Manquma