Bongeziwe Mabandla is the only nominated South African artist among the 10 finalists of the 2011 Radio France Discoveries Award (Prix D`ecouvertes RFI).
Mabandla will be competing against other artists from the African continent from countries such as The Comoros, Angola, Guinea and Ghana to name a few. No South African musician has ever won the award.
The 26 year-old guitarist, singer and songwriter has gained popularity within the local music market with his Afro-folk-fusion sound. The Daily Maverick has dubbed his sound as a “fusion of traditional African and contemporary folk sound, with some dub influence thrown in’.
The release of Mabandla’s EP, Umlilo (340ml Music) in 2008 saw him entertaining South African audiences which led him to sharing the stage with other remarkable talent such as BLK Sonshine, Freshly Ground, Lebohang Mashile, Thandiswa Mazwai, Kwani Experience and 340ml, and later touring the UK with some of these artists.
RFI music is giving an opportunity for supporters to cast their once-off online vote for their favourite artist until 13 September, by logging on to http://www.rfimusic.com/news-music/vote. The winners will be announced on 23 September.
Mabandla and his three-piece band will perform live at the Alliance Francaise of Johannesburg on 17 September.