The Grammy award-winning Isicathamiya group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra joined in the spirit of Christmas performing at Umlazi’s Max Lifestyle, south of Durban.

They shared the stage as part of observing Reconciliation Day and encouraging township tourism.

Durban is expecting 540 000 visitors over the festive season and a R3 billion injection into the city’s economy.

Musical giants Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Africa’s premier orchestra KZN Philharmonic Orchestra shared the stage encouraging the spirit of Christmas.

This was a historic event as they both performed at this township together for the first time. Amongst the songs they performed were Nomathemba, Ilungelo ngelakho, and Emaweni.

“This day is very important because we are bringing together two different cultures. We are in a township to show people that working together brings good results. We are happy that we have collaborated. This is an important day in South Africa because it encourages people to work together,” says Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Sbongiseni Shabalala.

The 49 piece orchestra did not disappoint music lovers with soothing sounds.

The Chief Executive Officer of the KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg philharmonic orchestras  Bongani Tembe says music is one of the tools that bring people together.

“This performance of Christmas carols here at Max’s Lifestyle of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ladysmith Black Mambazo, first of all, it is to utilise music to bring people together, to reconcile people together. The second objective is to show people that even though there are restrictions – and we must observe those restrictions, COVID-related restrictions – but Durban is open for business. If people are responsible, they can still enjoy our city and its facilities.”

Coronavirus safety measures were put in place: 

Meanwhile, Durban Tourism will be rolling out Tourism Safety Travel Awareness Educational Activations in various townships to ensure the safety of visitors and residents during the holiday period.

Ethekwini Municipality Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda says COVID-19 has reduced the number of visitors in the City by 25% compared to 2019 statistics.

“Our festive season projections are that an estimated 540 000 visitors will visit Durban from the first of December to the 31st of January, with a total contribution of about R3 billion to the city’s GDP. The anticipated visitor figure equates to the loss of over 25% of visitors compared to last year.”

Kaunda also urged business owners to follow protocols during this time to prevent the spread of coronavirus.