There are many great reasons I love Joburg. The people are friendly, the energy is palpable and there’s always something interesting and exciting to do.

Oh, and did I mention the climate? I mean, it’s barely spring and we’re already running around in shorts and slops. Still a bit pale and flabby from the winter, but no one really cares about that.

Thanks to the delicious weather, thousands of Joburgers got to sit outside this past weekend – in the starlight – to be entertained by some of the most amazing talent our country has to offer. I am talking, of course, about Rnad Merchant Bank’s Starlight Classics, an AfroSymphonic extravaganza of pure joy and delight held on the lawns of the Johannesburg Country Club in Auckland Park.

The Drakensberg Boys Choir put on a sterling performance of Coldplay’s Viva la Vida

From the opening orchestral number to the final sing-along encore, concert goers were treated to a stream of magical performances from established and up-and-coming singers, dancers and musicians. The line-up included:

  • The debut Johannesburg appearance of the newly discovered Mzansi Tenors, who blew us away with their operatic and contemporary tunes
  • Internationally acclaimed vocalist and Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist, Belinda Davids, fresh from her Whitney Houston tribute concert run
  • Illustrious classical South African soprano, back home from her international engagements, Vuvu Mpofu
  • Multi-platinum selling and award-winning afro-soul superstar, Vusi Nova
  • Sensational international musical theatre performer, Carmen Pretorius
  • South Africa’s singing ambassadors, the Drakensberg Boys Choir
  • Gifted young violinist, Pendo Masote, conducted by his father Kutlwano Masote
  • One of South Africa’s leading dance companies, Moving into Dance Mophatong
  • The Magical Phoenix Co. Orchestra

The production was expertly directed by our friends from the National Anthem project, Darren Hayward and James Bassingthwaighte and under the batons of no less than four conductors, including renowned music maestro Richard Cock.

RMB are commensurate hosts and really put on a fabulous spread of delicious food and drink. The event was superbly organised, both inside and outside of the country club. No traffic jams before or after the concert! What a win.

Young violinist Pendo Masote enthralls the RMB Starlight Classics audience with his remarkable talent

My favourite act? If pushed, I would go for Pendo Masote. At 18 years old he has a supreme command of the violin and played some superb technical pieces, as well as a few moving numbers that really stirred the soul. I also rate Vuvu Mpofu’s performances really highly. The lady can sing, hey!

All the performances were top notch, though. We were supremely entertained from start to finish and were sorry when it ended. Big thanks and congratulations to our friends at Rand Merchant Bank for another spectacular event. And big ups for being such staunch supporters of the arts.

Vuvu Mpofu striking a perfect note under the baton of Rickard Cock

Thanks Strike a Pose for the fabulous photos!