Review: Qadasi & Maqhinga Maskandi Folk Fusion Tour- wistful, emotional and emblematic of our humanity as a nationenthralling story telling music

The duo Qadasi & Maqhinga captivated and enthralled a packed Café Roux in Noordhoek on May 14, 2022. The gig was part of the Maskandi Folk Fusion Tour. The SAMA award winning duo has been on the road at five venues. I saw the duo a while back, also at Café Roux (I have lost track of time with the pandemic, but it was a few years before pandemic times) and enjoyed seeing them in concert. However, seeing the duo in action in 2022 and the performative aspect of the act has been refined. They have honed their storytelling anecdotes, which are blended with their songs, which are very much story songs. It is magic and transcendent as one is transported into another sphere – where music leads the way, with evocative images. For instance, they tell us: “In order for a man to make a woman happy, he should give her cake”. Agreed. They cite Zulu fables and aphorisms – “no matter how much cattle you have, that doesn’t mean you will be happy”- or words to that effect. On this tour, they have been performing compositions from their albums as a duo, numbers from their solo albums and standards from the South African Songbook – Johnny Clegg, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Paul Simon/Graceland faves. They brought the house down with Paul Simon’s Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, off his album, Graceland (lyrics by Joseph Shabalala and Paul Simon). Ahh those lines: “I mean everybody here would know exactly what I was talking about…” At the moment, with load shedding and a sense of bleakness and despair, we need to jive to a soundtrack which is emblematic of the extraordinary humanity of this country – the landscape, people, dreams, hopes, mirth. Qadasi & Maqhinga do that with a multi-layered fusion of Maskandi, musical motifs and images from South and the African continent. Its wistful music. It is emotional and toe-tapping and it lifts our soul. Consummate musicians: They bring an intimacy to each concert- with warmth, humour and insight into Zulu music. The tour has been presented by the Cape Town Music Academy (CTMA) – a not-for-profit company working to create performance opportunities for local musicians. The CTMA plans anotherQadasi & Maqhinga tour for the summer – South African summer 2022. Watch this space. Nab your tickets when booking opens.

Storyelling music: Qadasi & Maqhinga Maskandi Folk Fusion Tour, the gig at Café Roux in Noordhoek, May 14, 2022. © TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen.
Soulful beat: Qadasi & Maqhinga Maskandi Folk Fusion Tour, the gig at Café Roux in Noordhoek, May 14, 2022.
© TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen. © TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen, May 14, 2022.

✳ Related coverage on TheCapeRobyn: Pics by © TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen, May 14, 2022.