Festival reawakens the rhythm of Mozambique’s marrabenta
Paulo ‘Litho’ Sithoe dedicates his life to development of cultural life in Mozambique and loves marrabenta music, writes Struan Douglas
Cultural activist and festival director Paulo "Litho" Sithoe, 36, is playing a crucial role in the revival of marrabenta music. During the first years of his studies at the Institute of Arts and Culture in Mozambique, Sithoe was exposed to world-renowned artist Malangatana Ngwenya, who died in 2011. Ngwenya had dedicated much of his artistic career to the development of cultural life in Mozambique and was a lover of marrabenta music. He defined marrabenta as a concentration of music, dance, art and public life and mentored Sithoe to a level of excellence. He believed marrabenta could play a role in uniting people and promoting Mozambique to the rest of the world. "Malangatana started inviting me to see everything he was doing — such as building infrastructure and inspiring people to make a global impact," Sithoe says. In 2001 Sithoe met Rob Allan, aka DJ Bob, at a festival in Tofo. Allan was the founder of the legendary 206 live music venue in Orange Grove, Johannesburg. He invited ...