Last night at The Joburg theatre no seat arrangement could stop Ntsika Ngxanga and Vusi Nova fans from rushing to the front to not only sing along but physically interact with the stars during their just over two-hour show themed Afro Soul.
The theatre was full with dynamic outfits which mostly where Xhosa traditional outfits which lit up the theatre.
Ntsika Ngxangxa was the first act of the night who kept a fully packed theatre on their feet salivating at the palm of his first solo project.
What was also a marvel to watch was how the transition of Ntsika releasing a solo album did not compromise the authenticity and quality of his Xhosa Afro-Soul sound.
Ntsika Ngxanga’s I Write What I Dream is his first solo offering which details the journey and history of his music. From his performance you could pick up his pride in being spiritual Christian, African and Xhosa. His songs are songs of grief, strife, love, joy, triumph, and others are a cultural exposition his first love; music.
Ntsika also kept the fans in a wild goose chase as he fielded an octet of Danish vocalists; the Baobab Sisters an energetic womens vocal group from Denmark that performs a cappella songs inspired by Africa and her sound.
The Boabab Sisters; tall, blonde haired, clad in black dresses were given a wonderful reception by a largely Bantu audience. I wondered if they would have any trouble locating their ancestors on stage, but Ntsika gave true meaning to the idea that music truly had no color.
Embracing ones identity and getting warm were the only prerequisite ahead of the show. Honorary guests were treated to a feast of finger foods and bottomless drinks and conversation that gave more desire to support local artists throughout their journey.
Vusi and Ntsika also paid it forward sharing the stage with rising group 047 and newly signed group Soulphiatown under Ntsika’s label Nomadic tribe.
So much work lies a head of the group (047) whose talent is not questionable but their ability to synchronize at parts of the performance left me confused. Here lies three aspiring Beyoncé’s, who in their infancy still sound like Michelle.
During their performance one would signal the end of a song whilst another would still be reaching for the notes almost overpowering the presence of the other two. But this was a minor distraction after their voices made up for it.
The Afro-soul evening got better with every performance, the people in the room were not only fans of Ntsika and Vusi but also family.
Dressed in an all-white ensemble and beads, Vusi took the audience to church and straight onto the streets of protests and sweetly into the intimacy of their bedrooms with every song telling a familiar story.
Vusi also brought on stage renowned Mbongi (Praise poet) Jessica Mbangeni who added a cherry on top to Vusi’s ever astounding performance.
While the theatre was packed and audience dresses to the T, I really believe we should make habit of soul filled gatherings, and to especially help us get through the winter season.