Dato Seiko for Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival

  • She is among Africa’s most dynamic young theatrical performers, visual artists, singers and dancers
  • Festival’s eclectic but Afro-centric programme draws revellers from all over Southern African and beyond


Local songbird Dato Seiko will hoist the country’s flag high when she performs at the fifth edition of the Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival in Eswatini.

Slated for 4th to 5th August 2023, Luju is a lavish two-day feast of music, fashion, entertainment, culinary and connoisseur-led premium showcase (“Luju” means honey” in siSwati).

Dato Seiko of “Phenyo ke Yo” fame has been consistent in releasing music that resonates with her audience with her smooth R&B style and soulful vocals that make her stand out in the industry.

‘Back to the future’ 

Said the organiser of the event, Simon Dawson of House on Fire, in an interview: “The spirit of the Luju Festival looks to our heritage for inspiration to create the future (encapsulated in the festival ethos of “A Return to the African Future”), and Dato Seiko aligns perfectly with that spirit.”

“As a theatrical performer, visual artist, singer, dancer and vocal coach for youth bands and choirs, Dato is one of the dynamic young Africans who are making an impact both creatively and socially.”

This year the festival will also explore food as both a medium of art and an alimentary eccentricity.

African heritage 

The culinary space draws on age-old techniques, fusing rich African heritage with contemporary tastes for all palettes in experiential pockets of the festival.

The culinary spaces and celebrity chefs have been especially curated to present an individualised aesthetic with complementing artisanal foods and drinks.

Within the intimate Pick n Pay Pantry culinary demo platform, top chefs and culinary experts from the region will present a range of interactive demonstrations, tastings and masterclasses.

Said Dawson: “The Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival draws festivalgoers from all over the Southern African region and beyond because of our eclectic but Afro-centric and region-focused programme of culinary, fashion and music.”

All-Star chefs

Guests can also look forward to some of Luju Festival’s All-Star Chefs from Eswatini preparing high-end menus that incorporate the design gastronomy theme.

They include culinary guru Chef Eric Malinga, who has been instrumental in shaping the Eswatini culinary scene with the launch of his gourmet fashion house CuGoFa, Chef Justina Bain, the Pick n Pay Luju Masterchef 2022 competition first runner-up and cook book author of “Home Cooked Meals with Justina Bain,” and King Terry, a multi-talented rising star who dominated the Luju culinary space in 2022.

In keeping with the Luju theme, the festival will present an array of themed spaces called Hives for guests to explore, each hosting an array of complementary activations, tastings and lifestyle experiences.