Free State artists have appealed to organisers to prioritise local artists for the Mangaung African Cultural Festival (Macufe).
This year’s return of Macufe has raised hopes in the arts and culture industry. Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela announced during her State of the Province Address that the cultural event will be held this year.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in SA, the event was cancelled in 2020.
From the colourful streets to the beautifully crafted artworks and the soulful, melodic and rhythmic sounds to the vibrant and sporting personalities, the Free State capital of Bloemfontein is usually abuzz during the Macufe festival.
For more than a week, it becomes the country’s centre of attraction. Like many events, it was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19.
This year it is making a comeback and many artists, businesses and entertainment enthusiasts can’t wait to grab the opportunity.
Below are some of the sentiments from festival goers.
“Personally I feel like a lot of people from Bloemfontein themselves are going to benefit from it working wise. They going to benefit making money and stuff like that. I think it’s going to bring a lot of opportunities back that COVID has messed up a lot it.”
“I’m so glad about it , I’m very happy, I can’t wait for Macufe to come back in Bloemfontein.”
“I’m happy because I will be able to go and celebrate with my friends.”
“I’m feeling great but the question is about the game that we usually have on the last day of Macufe.”
“People will usually ask when is Macufe, we want that vibe. We just want to benefit.”
For the past two years, the entertainment industry took a knock. In the Free State, the period saw artists staging sit-ins and protests in a cry for help.
But, Macufe has also been marred by non or delayed payments for local artists. Many are crossing fingers for it to be a success.
Artists in Mangaung had this to say.
“You know the artist that are not working because of COVID but now because of Macufe coming back, Free State is going to do wonders. I know most of the actors, directors and producers, they are going to get some jobs, it is something that is very important.”
“We are hoping whatever festival that they are going to do is going to start from home first and benefit artists that are in the Free State. We are excited but we don’t know what kind of festival they are going to present.”
“This festival best believe that it will provide a lot of opportunities for us. I have never attended one but I’m looking forward to it this year because I feel like it’s going to be even bigger and better granted that everyone is hungry to be on stage again.”
Many artists say they are waiting for this year’s Macufe programme to be revealed.