Zahara’s home village of Phumlani was a hive of activity this weekend as the songbird hosted cultural and sports activities in honour of her late brother.
Her brother, Mbuyiseli Nana Mkutukana, was found dead with multiple bullet wounds near their East London village in 2014.
Our sister newspaper, Daily Dispatch reported at the time that Mkutukana was an aspiring dancer who had dreams of teaching others in the community, and so Zahara decided two years ago to honour him with the event.
Day one of the weekend activities included modelling, dancing and traditional games with a variety of netball, soccer and rugby matches where different teams played against each other.
Day two saw more dancing and modelling, a final soccer match and an award ceremony for all the participants, with the sporting winners rewarded for their efforts with trophies, medals and cash prizes.
The highlights of the day were musical performances by Zahara, the Mkutukana Sisters and popular DJ Blomzit Avenue.
Event manager Oyama Dyosiba described the weekend as a success.
“It was just beautiful. The weekend was such a huge success which went beyond my expectations. I knew the kids would come out but it was way more than I expected. What really surprised me was how parents came out too, not just to watch but many of them wanted to know how they could assist,” he said.
“The participation from the kids was so good and they were so engaging. The soccer match was so packed it was like a national match at FNB Stadium. Even the rugby too. This showed me that there is a hunger for something like this.”
According to Dyosiba, a total of 10 soccer teams played, including one amateur team made up of much older players. There were seven rugby teams and four netball teams – with another amateur team in this category too.
In the community hall, there was dancing and modelling, while some of the other entrants took part in playing traditional African children’s games.
“Apart from the trophies and medals we are giving out, we hope the cash prizes can be put to good use, especially for the soccer teams. This money is for them to either distribute amongst themselves or for the teams to buy kits or see to anything else they need.
“We didn’t get to do much marketing for the event ahead of the day. It is amazing how word of mouth quickly spread and resulted in such a glorious turnout. We always fear holding events like this in the townships because of those few individuals who can spoil it by turning up drunk or bringing violence, but we experienced no such thing. Everybody played along nicely,” Dyosiba concluded.