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The Post COVID-19 Pandemic Come-Back of the Ebubeleni Music Festival

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The Post COVID-19 Pandemic Come-Back of the Ebubeleni Music Festival

Music is one of the most popular and loved forms of art expression in South Africa. It is a form of art that transcends language and speaks to the heart. At the heart of music are not only those who practice but also those who appreciate. Mahambehlala Communications is an artistic organisation that serves as a platform for music in South Africa. It plays a crucial role in the growth of musical practitioners in the sector by providing the fundamental resources needed to develop a sustainable career in the music industry.

The Ebubeleni Music Festival is an annual music festival held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqebherha, Eastern Cape. With the support of the National Arts Council through the PESP 4 funding call, Mahambehlala Communications celebrated the 12th edition of the music festival. The festival is described by the organisation as a “premium lifestyle picnic style festival, bringing entertainment, music and a cultural lifestyle experience to the Eastern Cape”.

The festival provided a valuable platform for local artists from the Eastern Cape to be paired up with some of South Africa’s most popular leading artists like Ringo, Amanda Black, Sjava, Nathi, DJ Tira, and more. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to the annual implementation of the festival. Despite this, the Ebubeleni Music Festival was a huge success with over 15 000 people in attendance.

The organisation echoed that, “The support from NAC contributed to the success of the event and the economic impact the event created in the hosting province at large. We were able to create jobs for youth and women in Eastern Cape and also from other provinces like Gauteng, Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal”.

The NAC is pleased to partner with organisations such as Mahambehlala Communications as their project aligns with the PESP funding criteria of having the ability to transform the sector through increased employment opportunities for vulnerable groups as well as job creation with a focus on youth, women, and vulnerable groups, and where applicable, employment creation opportunities beyond the sector itself. A total of 829 jobs were created in the implementation of this festival and the total economic impact of the festival on the host economy (Nelson Mandela Bay) was calculated by SAFEIC at R34,123,940.

In closing, the organisation writes, “Overall the project was a resounding success, our [festival goers] and music lovers are already looking forward to the 13th edition in 2024. We hope NAC will be able to fund the project again in 2024 for us to be able to continue to create employment opportunities albeit for short periods”.

To learn more about Mahambehlala Communications and the Ebubeleni Music Festival, you can send an email to, visit their website via or follow them on Facebook @ Mahambehlala Communications.


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