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Freshlyground enchant Gabs

Staff Writer
Popular South African band Freshlyground gave a sensational performance at the Botswanacraft arena on Friday.

With their electrifying performance, the band proved why they are a force to reckon with. Upon going onstage following Kearoma Rantao's performance, the mood revved up and the audience, who had been laid back, enjoying Rantao's jazzy act, stood up to the band's afro pop sounds.

Never a dull moment in their act, Freshlyground proved once more they haven't lost their spark in their 11 years in the music industry. Each band member executed his /her role with grace as they made their presence felt through their instruments and vocals. Charming as ever, the band's lead vocalist Zolani Mahola kept the revellers captivated with her voice while the other members of the ensemble backed her up with coordinated sounds from the drums, guitar, violin, keyboard and saxophone. Despite her pregnancy, Zolani did not disappoint as she danced and sang throughout the performance.

Before performing Potbelly, the gushing mother-to-be announced her pregnancy to the audience and told them that she  has a good excuse. With a smile Zolani was quoted saying, "I am still the only one in the band with a potbelly, but this time there is a baby in my belly.  So I have a good excuse." The news of the pregnancy was received with cheers and claps that continued until the end of the song.

While working her magic onstage, the band was in the same line with Zolani and dished up a

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well-rounded performance. Violinist and backing vocalist Kyla-Rose Smith played her violin passionately and also showed off some dance moves that were a hit with the audience. Meanwhile, the men did not want to be outshone by the women as guitarists Julius Sigauque and Josh Hawks strummed to perfection and impressed, while Peter Cohen, on the drums, and Seredeal Scheepers, on the keyboard, kept the beat and melody going. Multi-skilled man Simon Attwell switched between playing his instruments, starting with the saxophone and later moving on to the mbira and flute.

The band played a medley of songs from their old albums Nomvula. Ma'Cheri and Radio Africa as well as songs from their new album that was released towards the end of last year, Take Me To The Dance. Some of the songs played included Baba, Fire Is Low, I'd Like, Nomvula, Doo Be Doo, and Things Have Changed. They played around three songs from Take Me To The Dance that included The Man Moves and Nomthandazo, which were well-received. However The Man Moves seemed to have been more enchanting, as the revellers were rhyming along to the beat. The last song to be dished out was the famous 2010 FIFA World Cup song, Waka Waka, which saw Freshlyground call it a night after having been called back onstage by the audience who confessed to wanting the band to continue playing.



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