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MBABANE - Earlier this year, House On Fire announced the official 2023 CollaboNation artists as Thobile Makhoyane (Eswatini) X The Hood Brodz (Mozambique), Mokoomba (Zimbabwe)  and X Morena Leraba (Lesotho).

After weeks of planning and online collaborating, the artists are starting to record their songs. The first recording session with Mokoomba and Morena Leraba commenced in Harare on May 1 this year, soon to be followed by Thobile and The Hood Brodz who will record in Maputo, Mozambique. Each recording pair will be hosted in-studio for two days to create their unique collaborative song, which will also have a music video filmed and produced documenting the live song performances that will take place at the upcoming MTN Bushfire Festival,  which will be held in Eswatini from May  26 – 28 ,2023. When reached for comment to MTN Bushfire Festival Director Jiggs Thorne shared with publication that this exciting new step in the CollaboNation process is bringing to life the project goals of connecting and uniting the region, through a series of unique music collaborations and building linkages between cultural industries and networks.


“The aim is to extend the reach of Southern African artists, exposing them to new audiences, media, promoters and other industry professionals, in order to access new markets and communities while developing artist brands. Since the artist announcements, the teams have been hard at work in their own studios and connecting online in order to prepare for their time in studio.” shared Thorne.


It’s worth noting that these exciting preparations were documented and can be viewed on the MTN Bushfire YouTube channel shorts:  https://www.youtube.com/@MTNBushfireFestival/shorts. According  to  Thorne, the production of the reels and the final CollaboNation videos also provide a skills training and development opportunity, with award-winning production house and long-time MTN Bushfire videography team Makhulu Media mentoring Mzwandile Kunene, Creative Director of 100 per cent Eswatini-owned and based Motion Skies Pictures, a multimedia and communications company in Mbabane.

The CollaboNation Artists

* Thobile Makhoyane: Hailing from the mountainous Kingdom of Eswatini, Thobile Makhoyane’s musical sorcery finds her melding influences from home and abroad under her ‘hypno-rock’ rubric – her imposing vocals floating divinely over acoustic sounds and a live band often comprising a mix of traditional and western instruments.
    Thobile names golden African voices Jabu Khanyile, Smiles Makama, Busi Mhlongo, Suthukazi Arosi, Youssou N’Dour and Oumou Sangaré among her key influences.
* The Hood Brodz: The Hood Brodz is a DJ/Producer duo hailing from Maputo, Mozambique. Ayrton and younger brother Hélio have been working together since 2011, releasing many songs on international labels in South Africa, France, Dubai and Angola and more, as well as establishing their mark on the Mozambican music landscape. They draw their inspiration from their ‘hood in Maputo, Bairro Trevo.
* Makoomba: Mokoomba, an explosively talented six-man crew from the Victoria Fall, has been hailed as one of the most exciting band from Africa in the 21st century! With over 40 countries and prestigious international festivals under their belt, they performed at the world’s biggest festivals and venues, Sziget, Roskilde, North Sea Jazz, New York’s Apollo Theater, New Orleans Jazz and many more.
* Morena Leraba: Teboho Mochaoa, known commonly by his stage name Morena Leraba, is a Lesotho-born singer and rapper. He mainly uses traditional seSotho lyrics and combines them with Electro, Afro-House and Hip Hop.

His lyrics are deeply rooted in Lesotho’s traditional music, poetry, and its sub-genre Famo. For more information, check out the CollaboNation section on the MTN Bushfire website: www.bush-fire.com/collabonation.