St Michael’s Marimbas at Spiritfest


The ever-popular St. Michael’s Marimbas will be back again with the African sound of the marimbas at this year’s Spiritfest, this time collaborating with the violin to create a beautiful musical experience. 

Director of St. Michael’s Marimba band, Asakhe Cuntsulana expresses his views on music and dance, saying they are the “only supreme elements of enjoyment for us humans” and goes on to say that this is exactly what the marimba concerts intend to create.

Cuntsulana expresses his views on the marimbas: “Marimbas are a unique percussion instrument that resembles and depicts how I feel through playing it. It was my first percussion instrument and playing it brings about my identity in the music industry. I believe it’s an expression of my emotions and reaching out through the power of music to a larger audience.”

Cuntsulana is a third-year voice and ethnomusicology student at Rhodes, majoring in ethnomusicology, music theory and vocal studies.

During his first year of studies at Rhodes, Cuntsulana taught himself basic piano skills, recorder skills, drums skills and started a marimba society in 2017 to share his knowledge and skills with Rhodes University. Cuntsulana also does volunteer work with Access Music Project (AMP) where he teaches marimbas in a local school called Samuel Ntsiko.

St Michael’s Marimbas. Photo supplied

The rest of the band, Khazimla Joba, Mzubanzi Mnandi, Achumile Mnandi, Chulumanco Kwatsha and Aya Dongwana, share Cuntsulana’s love and passion for the marimba. All members of the band, apart from Cutsulana, are young musicians still in school with a developing passion for the marimbas.

Together the St. Michael’s Marimba band will play 14 songs at the Spiritfest event, some of which are pop music, house music, movie music, traditional children’s songs as well as liberation, African traditional and Africanism songs. Among the songs that will be played are ‘Chimurenga’ (arr. Stela Chiwesa), ‘Despacito’ (Puerto Rican arr. Asakhe Cuntsulana) and the well-known ‘Shosholoza’. This is a  musical event not to be missed.

Catch the band performing on 2 July, from 13:15-14:00 in the Cathedral.

For more about Spiritfest see:


By Samantha Carolus