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Jiggs Thorne

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Jiggs Thorne is performance poet, artist, and visionary arts and festival director with a strong pedigree in creating, developing, and promoting African arts and culture.

Jiggs is the founder and Director of House on Fire, the MTN Bushfire festival, and the Standard Bank Luju Food and Lifestyle Festival, as well as the founder of IGODA, a Southern African music festival circuit.

House on Fire, a truly unique performance arena in the Kingdom of Eswatini, has been lauded as “one of the most eclectic venues in the world,” while the annual MTN Bushfire Festival is an internationally recognised and respected festival of the arts built on pillars of inclusivity, tolerance, sustainability, and diversity.

The MTN Bushfire festival, (hailed by the BBC as “One of Africa’s Top Festivals”) is well into its second decade with over 30,000 admissions of guests from around the world. The festival is a reflection of Jiggs’s artistic and social development vision and features three days of performances and activations built around a call to social action entitled, #BRINGYOURFIRE.

Through his diverse creative work, and as a leading Festival Director, Jiggs has had a major impact on the artistic landscape of the Southern African region and beyond.  Jiggs will continue to develop creative platforms of expression that provide meeting points of culture, and that aid in collaborative processes that address the challenges facing us all, from local to global communities.

ABOUT BUSHFIRE: After 13 successful editions, the MTN Bushfire festival has become one of the biggest annual festivals of music and the arts in Africa.

With over 30,000 admissions of festival fans from over 60 countries recorded over the 3-day event, and close to 300 performing artists from Africa and across the world, MTN Bushfire generated an estimated R81.2 million for the Eswatini economy in 2019.

MTN Bushfire is a creative platform that inspires the growth and development of the arts, and addresses the need to empower marginalised communities in Southern Africa. Through the festival’s #BRINGYOURFIRE call to action which encourages a collective contribution towards positive social and environmental change, MTN Bushfire has established sustainable initiatives that empower the youth, women, and LGBTQI communities. MTN Bushfire also raises funds for some of the more critical social needs that face our country through its festival beneficiaries, Young Heroes and boMake Rural Projects.

MTN Bushfire Partners include: Total, FNB, BET, MTV Base, Alliance Francaise, European Union, MTN and Sibebe Premium Lager among others.


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