Bongani Dlamini-Ngcobo, also known as DJ Bongz, is a well-known South African DJ and entertainer from a peri-rural township called KwaNdengezi, west of Durban. He came up with a dance called Gwara Gwara, which took the world by storm. He shoot to international stardom when American artist, Rihanna, performed his Gwara Gwara dance.
In 2015, he gathered a few enterprising youngsters from his hometown to conceptualise an event that he could use as a vehicle for uplifting his community. The concept became known as the DJ Bongz Social Link, which is held in the area, annually since 2017.
The musical event features an impressive line-up of A-grade musicians and entertainers from around South Africa alongside unknown artists of all genres from the area. Bhekani Nene of BN Ventures was one of those youngsters. His company is an event management company responsible for managing musical events. He is also an NAC PESP3 beneficiary who ensured that the projects met some of the NAC Critical Focus Areas as stipulated by the funding guidelines.
Before the event, local artists who were selected to perform in the event were required to attend a training and development workshop that aimed to teach them the best practices of stage performance and crowd management. These workshops also taught the business of entertainment so they can be able to sustain themselves after the event.
Additionally, the local vendors selected to sell their products at the event, who were mostly women and youth, were made to sell different products to ensure they sold out all their products. Bhekani also assisted them in obtaining their trading licenses for the duration of the event.
The introduction of the Maskandi music genre in the 2022 edition of the DJ Bongz Social Links event diversified the audience as well as exposed local artists to new audiences.
The Critical Focus Areas that BN Ventures met were capacity building and entrepreneurship in the form of workshops for local artists, supporting vulnerable groups by assisting local vendors to attain trading licenses as well as promoting marginalised and indigenous arts by introducing the Maskandi music genre in the line-up.
‘I’m really happy we were able to pull this off…we still get feedback from local artists who were allowed to perform alongside well-known artists’, pointed out Bhekani. His efforts created an opportunity for artists from KwaNdengezi who otherwise would have disappeared into obscurity.
Projects that meet some of the six (6) Critical Focus Areas as stipulated in the funding guidelines are more likely to be considered for funding by the NAC. Beneficiaries are urged to align their proposals with the funding requirements as stipulated in the funding guidelines as demonstrated by BN Ventures.
For more information on events managed by BN Ventures, please contact Bhekani Nene on 083 379 8609 or 078 372 3140 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org