Next Saturday is Heritage Day (all right, all right – Braai Day), and South Africans are encouraged to represent and celebrate their assorted, diverse cultures, so you can expect to see staff at your local supermarket rocking some of their more colourful traditional attire. Heritage Day is a great holiday, when you come to think of it: it’s not based in any kind of religion, political event, or bloody war, so it doesn’t exclude anybody. On the contrary, it’s possibly the most inclusive holiday ever devised, because everyone has some or another Heritage they can call their own.
In South Africa – as already mentioned – this tends to be an excuse for cooking some lavish traditional meal, getting dressed up in cool outfits, and leaning into the differences that make this nation what it is. In other words – it’s fun.
To celebrate, the Idols SA contestants are going to be kicking the week’s proceedings off with songs from this country’s musical past – those songs that make you think of South Africa when you hear them. Now, fair enough, this can sometimes get a bit schmaltzy, but that doesn’t matter – we’re all allowed to have some fun with it. The more fun, the better – we can put the “riot” in patriotism.
So, what can we expect to hear from the Top 9 after their announcement? Well, no prizes for guessing Hugh Masekela – it just wouldn’t be a party without his involvement. Speaking of a party, Brenda Fassie will be in evidence, as well as Caiphus Semenya. None of these artists are known for writing particularly easy compositions, so while it might be a Heritage Day celebration, the contestants will probably only be able to relax once their performances are over.
Now, there are a total of 10 contestants preparing for this Sunday, and we’ve only listed three musicians whose songs will be performed, so we need to carry on: Ringo, Jonas Gwangwa and Joe Mafela are on the list too, as are Thandiswa Mazwai, Stiemela and Sankomota. And it just wouldn’t be complete without Johnny Clegg, would it? This time around, it’s him and Juluka.
But who’s singing what? Here’s a handy table:
|CEEJAY||HUGH MASEKELA||'SEND ME'|
|NOZI||THADISWA MAZWAI||'NIZALWA NGOBANI'|
|TY LONER||JOHNNY CLEGG & JALUKA||'SCATTERLINGS OF AFRICA'|
|ZEE||BRENDA FASSIE||'MAMA I'M SORRY'|
Those are some super-talented songwriters from which to choose, so the Idols SA contestants have their work cut out for them. Obviously, one of them will never get to perform, having failed to make it into the Top 10, but that’s how this competition works, so we just need to prepare ourselves for that.