Richard E. Grant to Attend Swaziland MTN Bushfire Festival 2012
Internationally renowned actor, Richard E Grant is the proud patron of the MTN BUSHFIRE international music and arts festival, which takes place in his home country of Swaziland over the Africa Day weekend of 25- 27 May 2012.
Grant, known world wide as the star of films such as Withnail and I, Gosford Park, Robert Altman’s The Player and Oscar-winning biopic The Iron Lady was born and raised in Swaziland. A passionate supporter of Swaziland and its arts and culture he wrote and directed Wah-Wah, a story based on his childhood, which was the first feature film to be shot in the country.
Always maintaining strong links with his place of birth Grant wears two watches, one set to Swazi time and claims to be like a swallow that returns every year! An avid supporter of the spirit of MTN BUSHFIRE, Grant will be performing personally this year, and commented on why Swaziland and the MTN BUSHFIRE festival are so close to his heart:
Q: Do you still feel a connection to Swaziland?
A: It’s where I was born and brought up, so like a swallow, I fly back every year.
Q: Favourite thing about Swaziland?
A: My friends, Sibebe Rock [the ancient and majestic granite dome near Mbabane], swimming in the Umbeluzi and the spirit of the country.
Q: The House on Fire performance venue is…
A: … the creative heart and hearth of Swaziland. Warms your soul.
Q: Your view of the MTN BUSHFIRE festival in a nutshell?
A: Nothing lifts your spirits higher than experiencing live music together with other people.
Q: Tell us your thoughts on MTN BUSHFIRE’s social message.
A: Music and drama feed the soul and imagination like nothing else. Bushfire aims to spread the message like wildfire.
Q: What’s your interest in being a patron of MTN BUSHFIRE?
A: Hoping that I can give something back to Swaziland that has given me so much.
Q: MTN BUSHFIRE is unique because…
A: Founders Jiggs and Sholto Thorne are the sons of my late, great friend Jenny, who inspired enormous loyalty and did things her way, when many people “nay-sayed”. Her spirit of adventure and creativity are alive and well in her sons, who have created this unique venue that attracts people from far and wide.
MTN Bushfire is committed to inspiring and sustaining the cultural scene in Swaziland, as well as developing communities socially and economically through the arts. Each year the festival donates 100% of its profits to NGO Young Heroes, an organisation which supports some of the 120,000 orphans living in Swaziland.
A diverse audience of over 20,000 people will come together over three days to celebrate South African and international arts in this sixth annual festival, with an eclectic mix including music, theatre, poetry, film, circus, dance and visual arts. The MTN BUSHFIRE festival promises a vibrant, diverse and family friendly celebration of South African culture, with the theme for 2012 being ‘the art of self discovery’.
The festival takes place at House on Fire, an awe-inspiring performance arena & art gallery set against a breath-taking landscape in the heart of the Ezulwini valley. Festival founders Jiggs and Sholto Thorne believe the festival is an opportunity for artists and audiences alike to explore South African culture and engage with the magnificent landscape of Swaziland.