Cherry Jazz Festival Is Back: Top Acts Vusi Mahlasela, Kelly Khumalo

Ficksburg – There will be a “Cherry on Top” at the jazz festival this weekend in the small town of Ficksburg, Free State.

The Cherry Jazz Festival brings an exciting lineup of musicians including Vusi Mahlasela, songstress Kelly Khumalo, Sjava, Maleh, Semito, the local Nala Jazz Band, Simmy, DJ Finzo, and Prince Kaybee.

The Cherry Jazz festival is one of the oldest crop festivals in the country, which attracts audiences from all walks of life from South Africa and neighbouring countries.

Although the festival is held annually on the third weekend of November, it had been on hold owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The return of the festival is a boon for the economy of Ficksburg, which is also known as “Cherry Town” because of the prevalence of the fruit.

In this small town with just over 125 000 people, accommodation and transport providers and other small-scale local business people look forward to the festival to boost their enterprises.

The organiser of the Cherry Jazz festival, Seithati Monyaki said: “the festival is not only about the fun people are having over the weekend… it also has the social responsibilities”.

Monyaki added: “We support boxing tournaments, three early childhood centres, soup kitchens, disability centres, healthcare and students to register for university studies”.

“This is a unique festival, celebrating a unique fruit as it caters for every patron who comes by to enjoy themselves.”

The festival activities include cherry tours, golf games, a half marathon, cherry product competitions, veteran vehicle displays, equestrian events, and beer festivals. New exhibitions on the list include a food and wine fiesta.

A “Ready, Steady, Bake” competition is always a favourite. It is the making of “cherry mampoer” (a South African moonshine).