Zakes Bantwini and his epic line-up of special guest artists - the legendary Judith Sephuma, Khaya Mthethwa, iFani, Bucie and Liquideep's Ziyon - wowed the audience of this year's Upfront with Zakes Bantwini. Hosted on Monday at the Durban Playhouse, the annual Youth Day production was a moving and sensational tribute to 20 years of democracy and to Nelson Mandela.
The show's MC was Slikour and Bantwini's surprise act, award-winning gospel singer Sfiso Ncwane captivated the audience with his passionate performance.
Using personal narration interspersed with some of his most well-loved tracks, Bantwini's incredibly moving performance in the first act weaved it's way along the story of his life. He shared childhood memories and the significant influence his late mother and Nelson Mandela have had on his journey to date.
Performing hits from his latest studio-multiple-award-nominated album, The Fake Book & Real Book: My Music Bible
, including "Stop Acting" and "Karolina", Bantwini had the audience on their feet. He was later joined on stage by Ziyon from Liquideep. Together they performed their hit collaboration, "She Stole my Heart", and Ziyon delighted the audience with his popular single, "Alone". Soul and gospel singer Judith Sephuma also delivered a powerful performance that included well-loved "A cry. A smile. A dance", among others.
The second act featured more amazing talent in the form of Bucie and Xhosa rapper, iFani, who brought the house down. Following the star-studded line-up, Bantwini closed the show with "Nomathemba" - the track voted most popular on Mxit Studio - and also hit single "Ghetto", before thanking sponsors Mxit - the South African mobile social network - and the Durban Playhouse.