City Press' 5 acts you can’t miss at Oppi this year

Johannesburg - What would life be without that winter touch of music and debauchery to get us through the second half of the year?

Oppikoppi is back to its usual August schedule after the festival organisers tried hosting the event in October last year – a move they have described as “dim”. Despite last year’s fumble, the festival just can’t get its line-up wrong.

Here are five acts #Trending suggests you don’t miss.

1. Bongeziwe Mabandla

And he’s back again! This time, Bongeziwe Mabandla graces Oppikoppi stages as an SA Music Award-winning artist – he won the best alternative music album award for Mangaliso, last Saturday.

The artist’s melodies transcend language with a sound that resonates with audiences on a spiritual level. He is an impeccable Xhosa lyrical storyteller and, combined with his rhythms, this invites audiences to a deeper listening of his Afro-folk sound.

2. Sho Madjozi

Bubbly rapper, actress and poet Maya Wegerif, better known as Sho Madjozi, has consistently blown up stages, and her music, style and performances are lit.

A socially conscious pioneer, the artist ensures her music represents her culture. Her use of the Xitsonga language and xibelani attire in her work have set her apart from the rest.

3. The Sun Xa Experiment

Originally from Soweto, the band has created a sound that is ancestral, and uses it to encourage their audience to find common ground and care about one another. The group got together two years ago and is made up of six members: Simphiwe Watte (percussion), Tebogo Mkhize (acoustic guitar), Sphiwe Mgidi (drums), Lerato Seitei (electric guitar), Musa Zwane (bassist) and Buyisiwe Njoko (vocals).

All of them strive to heal the nation through their spiritual music.

4. Sibusile Xaba

Guitar genius Sibusile Xaba shares the maskandi/mbaqanga tradition of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands with ease, and pushes the envelope as only such a rare talent can.

As one of South Africa’s leading new generation of jazz musicians, Xaba’s music shatters the confines of the genre, taking only the essentials from mentors including Madala Kunene and the legendary late Dr Philip Tabane, and inspires audiences with a mythology and improvisational intensity all of his own.

5. House of Kuumba

House of Kuumba wants to remind audiences about some of the forgotten historical eras in South African music, and revisits some great treasures and the lifestyles that went with them. It’s a celebration of Mzansi’s vast, dynamic and enchanting groovy sounds rooted in indigenous acoustics that define the social fabric of township and urban lifestyle.

From kwela and marabi to sakkie sakkie and maskandi, and from mgqashiyo to South African modern experimental music, House of Kuumba is going to be a feast for the ears.

Oppikoppi festival takes place from 9 to 11 August at the Oppikoppi Farm in Northam, Limpopo.Ticket prices range from R575 to R3 700 and are available at