Our official ESSENCE Fest Durban ambassador is giving back to her homebase in a major way and providing local young people with employment opportunities in the process.

Lihle Z. Mtshali
Aug, 30, 2017

ESSENCE Fest Durban ambassador Nomzamo Mbatha is looking forward to hosting this year's Festival for many reasons and one her main objectives as host is to ensure that the people of South Africa experience all that the Festival has to offer.

Following her debut appearace at ESSENCE Festival in NOLA this past July, the rising actress and model says she was left overwhelemed by the never ending celebration of Black culture and Black unity that encompassed the weekend.

“When I experienced ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans for the first time this year I didn’t expect that kind of energy," Nomzamo says. "I thought, of course, there would be a lot of great music and we’d have fun, but it wasn’t until day one where I saw so many happy Black people who were just there to soak in all of this culture that I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of back home. 

“ESSENCE Festival is about more than just music and entertainment," she added. "It’s about empowering each other, being in a space where we can celebrate each other in all our aspects: beauty, music, business, social."

Above all else, the proud KwaMashu, South Africa native is looking forward to doing her part to bring the spirit of ESSENCE Fest to as many people in her homebase as possible. As part of her efforts, Nomzamo has pledged to rent 20 buses to allow for South African youth to travel to the Festival.

"I want my people at home to be a part of all of this, so I’ve made it my personal mission to get as many people there as possible," she says.  "I’ve pledged 20 buses that will bring young people to ESSENCE Festival Durban because that is how much I believe in this festival. I want them to know more about ESSENCE Festival than who’s performing on Saturday night."

Nomzamo also shared that she looks forward to using the experience to provide employment opportunities.

“Unemployment is a huge problem in South Africa. I wanted to turn this pledge into an employment and skills development opportunity as well. Each bus will employ young people who will act as project managers and make sure that everybody who is on their bus gets to the festival, is taken care of while there and everybody gets home safely. These project managers will not be volunteering, they will be paid.”

For more information about ESSENCE Fest Durban 2017, be sure to visit our official website HERE.