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The Pats and Slaps for MTN Bush Fire Festival 2019

This past weekend the 13th edition of the MTN Bush Fire took place in Malkerns, Swaziland and all I can say it was lit.

The MTN Bush Fire is a weekend long festival that brings people of all nationalities together through music, art, dance and food. Local and international artists kept over 20 000 attendees entertained and engaged.

MTN Bush Fire Crowd
MTN Bush Fire 2019 crowd

The event this year, coincided with Africa Day which was on Saturday, 25 May. Africa Day is a significant day on the African calendar of events. It was a colourful day, with people wearing their African attire with pride.

One thing that really stood out in particular, was not only the wholesome food and drinks, but the fact that it provided an opportunity for engagements on the social discourses faced by Africa and the world at large. There was a strong drive to promote sustainability and the reduction of the carbon footprint the festival had on the environment. The festival was 100% paperless and cashless. All the performance starting times, the latest festival info, park and ride schedules were available on the MTN Bush Fire mobile app.

Furthermore, attendees were also encouraged to bring reusable bags and donate unused clothes to orphans and vulnerable children through the Young Heroes Initiative.

To conclude here are the Pats and Slaps for MTN Bush Fire Festival:



The festival promoted sustainability and a minimal carbon footprint considering the global narrative around climate change.


The festival is probably the safest festivals I have ever attended. There was heavy police presence and they were friendly. I did not see a single person acting in an untoward way and was not privy to any criminal activities.


The MTN Bush Fire Festival brings together people from all walks of life. It was the most beautiful thing to experience. We were graced by both local and international performances. Performances included Trompies (South Africa), Muete (Germany), Dobet Gnahore (Côte d’Ivoire) among others.

Muete performance at MTN Bush Fire
Muete Performance. Image credit: Daniel Toro

Benefits the locals

The Swazi locals also benefited from the festival. There were vendors on the streets selling traditional Swazi attire and food.


Black Motion

I’ve seen Black Motion many times before however their performance at the MTN Bush Fire Festival was not their best. The percussion was too much. My head was pounding after their performance. Maybe I am getting old or my expectations were too high.


The WiFi wasn’t working properly, at some point there was no connection at all. This is disappointing because the headline sponsor is a telecommunications company.

All in all, the MTN Bush Fire Festival was lit and I will definitely be returning. The experience is truly amazing.

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