Rise of Mzansi’s Coachella

Johannesburg- DJ Shimza has set his sights on bringing black and white people together on the dance floor – building social cohesion through his Kunye concept.

The DJ, whose real name is Ashley Raphala, said the goal is to make Kunye events the biggest the entertainment industry in Mzansi has ever seen.

He likened it to the popular international event Coachella, which attracts celebrities and music lovers from around the world.

Already known for his sold-out One Man shows and the Lockdown House Party,  he is confident that this dream is not far from reality. He said the word, which means “as one”, was loosely coined by him and his team as “together”.

He said it’s an environment that’s not been experienced on this scale before and plays an important part in social cohesion by bringing together black and white, rich and poor, and people of various sexual orientations.

“It’s welcoming. It seems to be a slightly older crowd, but the vibe is electric. It’s music first, everything else after. It all comes together at Kunye. It certainly isn’t elitist. It’s a premium event with high-level production with the best line-up offering all a safe space to let loose and listen to great music. Everyone is welcome at Kunye,” he said.

Shimza said the concept was born out of frustration during Covid-19 restrictions last year that allowed only a limited number of guests at outdoor events.

“We and others needed an outlet. We could only invite a limited number of guests, so we chose to share the moments we had with those that could not be there with us.”

Shimza said more than music and party vibes, the aim of Kunye is also to promote new talent and connect established musicians to the global scene.

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