Africa-Press – Eswatini. The MTN Bushfire Festival has formed a partnership with the Azgo Festival, which saw the Mozambique festival launch in Eswatini at House on Fire.

The festival, now in its 11th edition, will be hosted in the city of Maputo in Cumbeza, in the municipality of Marracuene. It is a two-day annual event, which will be held on May 24-26, 2024, a week before the Bushfire Festival, which will be held from May 31 to June 2, 2024.

The Azgo Festival is Mozambique’s most renowned international arts festival, bringing together a diverse programme of quality music, cinema, and dance.

MTN Bushfire Festival Director Jiggs Thorne, in his opening remarks, thanked the team from Khuzula Investment for forming an alliance with the MTN Bushfire. Thorne highlighted that the aim of the festival is to promote artistic exchange between both countries. This year, the Azgo Festival will have the participation of local artist Bholoja, and the MTN Bushfire will host Stewart Sukuma.

Thorne went on to encourage local artists to grab the opportunity and apply to perform at the Azgo Festival and attend it to see what it offers and if they can relate to the festival.

Azgo is a contemporary celebration of arts and culture with a strong focus on artists from Mozambique and across the African continent. The festival also serves as a platform for emerging and acclaimed artists to collaborate and meet new audiences. Like MTN Bushfire, Azgo is a member of the Igoda Southern African festival tour circuit.

Julia Novela, who is the Director General of the Azgo Festival, mentioned in her speech that the festival in the last 10 years has been held in the city of Maputo, particularly at Eduardo Mondlane University, the Franco Mozambican Cultural Centre, and Campinho da Mafalala. However, this year they decided to hold it in the stunning area of CUMBEZA.

She said: “The festival is part of the festival circuit in the southern region, called IGODA, which in Mozambique serves as a platform for emerging and acclaimed artists to collaborate and meet new audiences. The word ‘Azgo’ is an old Maputo slang term for ‘let’s’ or ‘let’s go.’ Let’s revisit our cultures and heritage. Let’s promote cultural diversity. Let’s promote arts and culture. Let’s go..!

She went on to say: “This launch is envisaged with the aim of being an international point where we can disseminate opportunities to promote tourism, business, artistic exchange, and promotion of the arts and the culture of Mozambique is associated with the various acts and experiences that the country and the festival offers in the creative market.”

After the presentations from both Thorne and Novela, there was a question-and-answer session from different media houses that were present at the launch. It was revealed that artists can apply to participate at the festival, and submissions are done by August of the previous year. It was also revealed that Bholoja would be performing for the second time at the festival. When this journalist posed the question of how Bholoja was selected, it was revealed that artists apply and a panel goes through the artist’s resume and portfolio to make a selection, and in partnership with the MTN Bushfire team, they select artists.

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