Initiated in 2013, this fund offers opportunities for South African musicians to undertake live music tours across southern Africa. A total of 16 applications were successful and will be supported in South Africa (10 tour projects) and in the SADC region (7 tour projects).
The projects selected for regional (SADC) touring are:
- Thabang Tabane – performances and workshops in Mozambique with his quartet;
- The Afrikan Freedom Principle Tour – Cara Stacey, Mandla Mlangeni and Mozambican timbila master, Matchume Zango, in Swaziland and Mozambique;
- The Kgalagadi Soul Tour – Aus Tebza, Sereetsi and Zambian folk musician Mumba Yachi, concerts and workshops in Botswana and South Africa;
- Bokani Dyer Trio – two week performance and workshop tour in Mozambique and SA;
- Leomile and Zwelizwe Mthembu – performances at universities and colleges in Lesotho, Botswana and SA;
- Msaki & The Golden Circle – Zambia and Swaziland tour with a 9-piece ensemble;
- The ‘Maskandi meets Marrabenta’ collaborative tour – Vukazithathe and Mozambican percussionist Texito Langa in Mozambique, Swaziland and SA.
This round’s recipients for national touring support are Siphelele Ngcobo, Holly Wasserfall, Menyatso Mathole, Billy Monama & Themba Mokoena, Vuma Levin, Samthing Soweto, Robin Fassie-Kock, Luyanda Madope, Kathleen Tagg & Andre Petersen, and Dumama & Qhawekazi Giyose in collaboration with Madosini.
The final selection was based on alignment with the objectives of the Mobility Fund and conditions as set out in the call for proposals. Concerts SA project manager Nailla Dollie says: “This latest round of the Music Mobility Fund received 161 applications from established and emerging musicians from across the music spectrum. With the quality of submissions increasing year on year, the task of selection was extremely difficult for our dedicated panellists. The thought and organisation evident in the submissions made were inspiring, and we wish all successful applicants safe travels and enriching tours!”
Since inception, the Music Mobility Fund has supported more than 120 tours through six funding rounds, and has featured artists like Language 12, Josie Field & Laurie Levine, Project Elo, Lindiwe Maxolo, Tlokwe Sehume, DJ Lag, Wendy OIdfield and Paul Hanmer.
More than 500 musicians have successfully toured across the 9 South African provinces as well as 9 countries in southern Africa (Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia), playing almost 600 shows to over 40 000 people, spanning genres from jazz to indigenous music, from folk to hip-hop and kwaito.
Former recipient and vocalist of Future Afro band TheCITY, Bonj Mpanza, reflects on their latest tour: “Our personal and professional growth in our tour to Tanzania involved dealing with challenging circumstances while still offering the best performances we could. After the tour, we are definitely more efficient and equipped to deal with any situation than before the tour. Now that we know which venues, festivals and promoters are worthwhile from either a financial or strategic viewpoint, we could organise a tour focusing only on the performances that would have the most impact. This was our first international tour and seeing people connect to our music so far from home was an amazing experience. Being afforded the privilege of experiencing the beautiful country and culture through music has been an unforgettable experience which we will treasure forever. What a privilege to be able to grow friendship and human connection through music!”
The Music Mobility Fund is administered by Concerts SA, a joint South African/Norwegian initiative housed under the auspices of the Stakeholder Hub within the SAMRO Foundation. It receives financial, administrative and technical support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the SAMRO Foundation and Concerts Norway.