We’re just hours away from one of the biggest music festivals in the country: the annual Maftown Heights hip hop festival, which is promising to be a real cracker.
This year’s edition of the festival will be taking place in Mahikeng (we know it sounds obvious but those with long memories will recall a period of time when Maftown Heights took place in Johannesburg) and will be attracting some of the finest ambassadors of hip hop from one of the country’s most prominent talent pools.
Despite the celebrations, we’re expecting a few tearjerking moments too. The late HHP, who was one of the pioneers of hip hop not only in Maftown but in the country, will be honoured at this year’s festival. HHP was Mahikeng’s golden boy - which is particularly impressive when you consider the amount of talented rappers the North Western city has produced.
In anticipation of this year’s festival, we spoke to an up-and-coming rapper from Mahikeng, Lesedi “Tswakgoddess” Thwala, who explained why this festival is so important to the people of Maftown. She began by touching on the fact that Maftown Heights has finally returned home.
“This is the second ever Maftown Heights to be held in Mahikeng. Which I think everyone from Maf can agree that it belonged there since Maftown is the mother of Motswako, who gave birth to greats like Morafe, HHP, Tuks, Cassper, Fifi Cooper, etc and is still bubbling with fresh talent. For us Motswako is a way of life, a culture, something that is definitely in our blood. Being a rapper is considered cool but being a dope rapper buys you street cred back home.”
However, a Maftown Heights Festival without HHP (or indeed a summer without Jabba) is always going to be emotional and we’re certain every artist on the roster will be in some way missing the legendary rapper. Tswakgoddess mentioned his impact during the rest of our conversation with her.
“I met HHP in 2013 at an event in Itsoseng. I happened to perform just before him. After the performances we took a picture and he told me to never stop writing and rapping. That was such a big deal for me coming from the legendary Jabba. He had this great energy man. It seemed like one could say he was always happy, the irony of it now is so sad. But his music is timeless!”
One person who will not be at this year’s Maftown Heights Festival is Cassper Nyovest, who cleared up the rumours that he might there in a tweet. However, he will be at another festival in the city a little later in the month.
Main image credit: Instagram/@jabbaman_1