D Days
H Hours
M Min
until the 2018 Commonwealth Games commence.
Longines Time
April 4 to 15 2018
  • Wed 11 Apr 2018
  • Main Stage, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast
  • Festival 2018
  • Free
Music Australian exclusive

Young African Commonwealth - Celebrating Nelson Mandela's 100th Birthday

Kweku Mandela is your host for an incredible evening of African music – a live tour de force of the power of change, music and unity. 

Inspired by the great Nelson Mandela, this performance will celebrate his 100th Birthday and acknowledge the support he received from colleagues, comrades and the community. 

An exciting lineup of young trailblazing bands, vocalists and DJs, including Spoek Mathambo, K.O.G, BatukAadae, Gazza, Moonchild SanellyMorena Leraba and Mim Suleiman demonstrate loud and live why Africa has come to lead the evolution of music across the globe, and how Mandela made that possible.

Kweku Mandela (South Africa)

Kweku Mandela was born in the Transkei, South Africa, and grew up in America, returning to his homeland in 1993. He is a South African Filmmaker who is an active producer in a number of films and TV projects around the world. His company Out of Africa Entertainment is one of the largest film and Television production companies in Africa having recently completed production on Madiba, Maze Runner 3 and The Red Sea Diving Resort.  

In mid-2009 he co-founded Africa Rising Foundation with his cousin Ndaba Mandela and their dream of changing Africa’s image and fostering young leadership and partnerships around the world was started. He supports the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and the Long Short Walk, a world walk for road safety, in memory of his 13-year old cousin Zenani Mandela who was killed in a crash two years ago. 

Kweku’s also on the board of Global Citizen, Pioneer Works and Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project and a Trustee of House of Mandela. Kweku latest projects include producing Margot Robbie film Dreamland and Christopher Waltz directorial debut Georgetown along with starting GenEndIt with Charlize Theron a collective of HIV/AIDS organisation committed to seeing the end of AIDS in our lifetime.

“Young African Commonwealth is a live tour de force of the power of music, the power of culture and the power of change – all attributes my grandfather wholeheartedly believed in.

“My grandfather played a role as an ambassador for Africa, standing up for African voices to be heard in South Africa and around the world. Young African Commonwealth is a showcase of a new generation of African ambassadors whose music and talent is far-reaching and global in appeal.

“I believe it’s the youth that hold the key to change and it’s the youth who will unite to carry on my grandfather’s legacy. The voices of young Africa are the new voices of the revolution, so it’s fitting that some of the best young African musical talent will feature on the world’s stage at Festival 2018,” Mr Mandela said.

Batuk (Mozambique/South Africa)

Manteiga and Spoek Mathambo form part of the world renowned music collective called BATUK.

The globetrotting bodyrocking group from Johannesburg are back with a new single and music video titled 'Move!', an ode to the township roots that shaped them. Hailing from Maputo and Johannesburg respectively, artist and musician Manteiga, brings a unique fusion of Mozambican and South African flair to her music and art. The music is vibrant and energetic, while being culturally rich. Batuk is vocalist Manteiga’s collaboration with established electronic music producer Spoek Mathambo.

They released their debut album, Musica da Terra in May 2016 and since then they have enjoyed coverage from prominent international media such as CNN, BBC, i-D Magazine, Rolling Stones Magazine, OkayAfrica, Les InRocks Magazine, Tsugi Magazine, Elle Magazine, Marie Claire Magazine, and others.

Batuk will release their second album 'Kasi Royalty' in May 2018. More urban than their debut, Musica Da Terra this album is also largely inspired by deep house and kwaito. With their hybrid of melodic gems, rap, afro-house, soul and zouk, Batuk brings kwaito and house up to date.

Since its inception in 2015, Batuk has performed in numerous countries in Africa, Europe and the UK. In the past year, they have performed for over 200,000 people in over 15 countries including Belgium, Burkina Faso, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Mozambique, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Swaziland, Switzerland, Sweden, Uganda and the UK.

K.O.G (Ghana) 

The interpretation of genuine African music fused with energy and laced with funk reggae jazz and music from all corners of the world.

Under the leadership of the outrageously talented whirlwind of energy that is Kweku Sackey aka Ghanaian force of nature K.O.G, the eight-piece Zongo brigade deliver infectious, high-energy West African grooves, drawing on afrobeat, soul, funk, rock and reggae to create a totally original sound that leaves every crowd dripping with sweat and begging for more.

With K.O.G’s signature mix of songs, raps, operatic vocal effects and stage antics that would make Howling Wolf blush, backed up by hard-hitting patois raps from Jamaican Franz Von Song and a dedicated band of serious musical badmen, the band have played some huge stages including Glastonbury West Holts, Reading and Leeds Festival, and clubs and venues across Europe with big things on the horizon.

Spoek Mathambo (South Africa)

Spoek Mathambo is the stage name of South African musician (singer, rapper, producer and DJ), Nthato Mokgata. At the vanguard of a new wave of African artists, Spoek is hitting the world hard. It is clearly African music, but like none that has ever been heard or made before. In 2010, his debut album ‘Mshini Wam’ was released on BBE Records. The album includes an award-winning cover of Joy Division’s ‘She’s Lost Control’. The track received the Young Director Award at the 2011 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Meanwhile he was nominated in the Best African Act category at the 2011 Mobo Awards. In 2012, Spoek released his second album ‘Father Creeper on Sub Pop’, gaining him a second nomination for Best African Act, at the 2012 MOBO Awards. Spoek was also nominated for Best African Act for the third time at the 2013 MOBO awards.

The edgy, unorthodox figure of Spoek heads the Fantasma project, a South African band made up of musicians with very different backgrounds and styles who teamed up to create a sound that is far more than the sum of its parts. Fantasma are electronica producer DJ Spoko from Pretoria, Bhekisenzo Cele from Durban, on the accordion, guitar, bass and vocals, guitarist Andre Geldenhuys from Cape Town and, last but not least, on vocals, producer Spoek Mathambo from Johannesburg, whose albums have been released on several prestigious labels, including Sony, Mad Decent and Sub Pop. Into this melting pot go dozens of styles, skills, sounds and influences, from deep house (one of the most popular genres in the country) to psychedelia by way of Zulu traditions, hip hop psych rock, ancestral beats, Bacardi house (invented by DJ Spoko) and even aspects of surf music, one of Geldenhuys’ areas of expertise.

Aadae (Nigeria/UK)

Aadae makes music that crosses boundaries. Born in Nigeria but raised in Peckham, her song-writing speaks of family parties spent listening to high life and Afrobeat, long nights in South London dancing to UK garage music, and an innate love of the impact pop song-writing can have.

Following support from BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio 6 Music, The Fader, The Line of Best Fit and more, her debut EP Agapewas released in November 2017. It crosses several continents to deliver something laced with colour, life, and 

Opening and closing with samples of a Yoruba church service in rural Nigeria, Aadae focuses on worship in all its forms. Her song ‘Flat Line (Make Me Lose My Mind)’ is perfectly formed, a piece of Afro-centric future soul that recalls everyone from Jessie Ware to Erykah Badu.

‘Die Happy’ is a complex, interweaving ballad, a show piece for Aadae’s ineffable voice and her broad, wonderfully mature song-writing. ‘River of Tears’ spearheads the project, uniting West African tradition with London street culture to craft something entirely unique.

A globe-trotting talent with a magpie-like sense for aural jewels, Aadae sits alongside anyone from Fela Kuti to M.I.A., Santigold to Little Dragon.

Gazza (Namibia)

Gazza can be defined as a mix of several influences namely Kwaito, Dancehall, Reggae, Hip Hop. His and his lyrics are about the township life and reflect the intricacies of Namibian life and strike a familiar chord with Namibians from all walks of life, young and old.

To date, Gazza has released 10 albums, all of which have contributed to making him the best-selling recording artist of all time in Namibia. Gazza recently released his 10th album ‘Ondjila – Long Journey’ in 2014.

Besides being a lyricist and performer, Gazza takes his influence to another level, and amongst others, serves as the Goodwill Ambassador of Education sanctioned by the Ministry of Education as well as an Ambassador for Team Namibia as well as the Back To School Campaign (at the office of the Prime Minister). Gazza believes that education is the backbone that leads to success and makes everyone’s dreams come true.

Moonchild Sanelly (South Africa)

Moonchild Sanelly quickly made a name for herself in the Durban music scene, performing at festivals across KwaZulu Natal.  She has since relocated to Johannesburg where her presence has been no less noticeable. 

Moonchild has performed alongside artists such as Madala Kunene, Gcina Hlope and Busi Mhlongo. The move to the city of lights has also presented the opportunity to collaborate with the likes of the BLK JKS and Thandiswa Mazwa. 

Morena Leraba (Lesotho)

Morena Leraba is a Mosotho musician and shepherd from of Ha-Mojela in Mafeteng district, located south of Lesotho's capital Maseru. Lebara’s music, especially lyrics, is deeply rooted in Lesotho's traditional music, poetry, and it’s sub-genre, Famo, which was introduced as early as the 1920s when Basotho men were migrant workers in South African mines. However, the approach in the beat is significantly different as it hurls almost everything from Electro, Electronica, Afro-House, Folk, and Hip-Hop.

Mim Suleiman (Tanzania)

The irrepressible Mim Suleiman, a pint sized performer with a planet sized personality, has been described as Mama Africa of the modern Era. Defies categorisation. Mim, it seems, was born with musical bones. She has spoken of her early musical influences (rich melting point) converging in her childhood home, Zanzibar.

Mim's charismatic personality and startling vocal range, is the driving force that never lets her audience down.

Mim began singing as a hobby, and was soon involved in performances. In 2002 Mim quit her teaching job at the University of Birmingham to commit to her musicianship, Her music echoes the rich influence of Swahili coastal traditions and beyond, mixing the styles with unusual instrument combinations delivering her heartfelt lyrics with her startling vocal range. “Music for the world, led by the powerhouse that is Mim Suleiman and her lyrics about love and affection, freedom, oppression, unity and everyday life!”  

To date Mim has released four solo albums with the legend Producer Maurice Fulton. First release single Mingi 2010, features in GTAV.

In between shows from Tottenham to Tasmania, Mim hosts her own live Tungi Shows, delivering musical and inspirational workshops for young and old worldwide. Whilst travelling across East Africa filming uSISTA , to encounter women who tell their stories.


Wed 11 Apr 2018
Wed 11 Apr, 07:00pm - 11:20pm
Main Stage, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

-27.9979378, 153.4306901

Surfers Paradise Esplanade
Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

Accessibility information

The Main Stage is located on the sand, but can be viewed from The Esplanade. 


Batuk, some images by Gabrielle Kannemeyer.