Zakifo comes to South Africa again this year from May 26th to 28th, bringing along with it a diverse lineup of musicians from Africa and beyond. Having hosted acts like Sibot & Toyota and Maramza & Moonchild, as well as Kwesta, aKing and Mix ‘n Blend in 2016, they have just announced one of the biggest urban artists on the planet to headline their festival this year.
Zakifo takes place at Durban's Blue Lagoon beach on the promenade, with two stages, a cultural area, food carts and stalls, craft beer bars, local traders and interactive installation art exhibits. As the sister festival of Reunion Island party Safiko, the festival continues to make their presence known in South Africa, and this year, there lineup packs a punch. Joining acts like Thandiswa Mazwai, Petite Noir and Ray Phiri amongst many other are French DJ Crew Birdy Nam Nam and the “Jr. Gong” himself, Damian Marley.
Having won the DMC championship in 2002, Birdy Nam Nam are turntablists at heart. But after opening for Skrillex at the 2012 Festival des Artefacts in Strasbourg, they began releasing on his widely-known OWSLA imprint, including various remixes from both themselves and Skrillex. However, it was their work on ASAP Rocky’s “Wild For The Night” that catapulted them to stardom, with the album Long. Live. ASAP reaching Gold and Platinum statuses around the world.
Damian Marley needs no introduction. As the son one of the most iconic artists of all time, Bob Marley, Damian followed closely in his father’s footsteps. His 2005 album Welcome To Jamrock kick started his career, with multiple hit-singles surging up the charts including “The Master Has Come Back”, the title track “Welcome To Jamrock and “Road To Zion” featuring Nas—which later became the basis for the collaborative album Distant Relatives with Nas. He has since worked with Gwen Stefani, Sean Paul, Rusko, Cypress Hill, Skrillex and Bruno Mars, and has reached number one in the R&B, reggae and hip hop charts.
With a lineup of this calibre, Zakifo are definitely taking their festival to the next level and with the buzz of their massive announcement making its rounds, this year’s festival will be an important benchmark for the relatively young festival.
Ticket available from Computicket.