MTN Bushfire is thrilled to announce this year’s explosive edition of Eswatini’s vibrant music talent competition designed for up-and-coming artists in the country, MTN Bushfire Firefly!

 Sponsored by MTN Eswatini, the MTN Bushfire Firefly music competition continues to be one of the hottest artist launch pads in Eswatini. With an inspiring history of creating dynamic opportunities and facilitating extensive reach for young artists, this competition is an established platform for Eswatini artists looking to advance their musical careers beyond the country’s borders.

All #YoungGiftedFree up-and-coming vocalists, singers and rappers are invited to submit their music recordings to participate in the competition.

Important dates:

  • 6 Mar – 24 Mar: Applications open
  • 29 Mar – 12 Apr: Top 20 announcement and voting commences on AYOBA
  • 15 Apr – 25 Apr: Top 10 announcement and voting continues on AYOBA
  • 26 Apr: MTN BushfireFirefly Grand Finale
  • 31 May – 2 June: The Top 3 perform at the MTN Bushfire festival

*All Top 10 finalists and Top 3 winners are required to sing on back-track during their performance.

Adjudication process:

  • Accredited adjudicators will consolidate and select the Top 20 Finalists
  • Public voting will take place on ayoba.me – a percentage of public votes are required to get your favourite artist to the MTN Bushfire Firefly Top 3
  • The Top 20 will be publicised across several communications platforms to create awareness on their music
  • The Top 10 are then selected by a combination of public votes and expert industry adjudication
  • The final Top 3 will be selected based on their live performance at the MTN Bushfire Firefly Grand Finale on Friday, 26 April at House on Fire in Eswatini.

*It is imperative that the Top 10 bring their A-game and market their participation effectively as this will also contribute to their final scores.

Artist Benefits

  • Top 20 - Music promotion on international platforms
  • Top 20 - Arts Round Table participation – network opportunity with global stakeholder
  • Top 20 – MTN CallerTunez opportunity
  • Top 10 – Performance at the Firefly Top 10 Grand Finale with expense stipend
  • Top 10 – Branded merchandise
  • Top 3 – Mobile phones sponsored by MTN Eswatini
  • Top 3 – Performance slot at the MTN Bushfire festival with expense stipend

  • Applicant must send 2 original tracks for consideration
  • Applicant must send their EPK/ bio in i) PDF or ii) weblink
  • Applicant must complete the application HERE:
  • You must be between the ages of 16 and 35 years at the time of registration
  • Applicants under 18 must have consent from a parent or legal guardian. Email firefly@bush-fire.com for more info.

The Top 20 MTN Bushfire Firefly finalists all receive an invitation to participate in the MTN Bushfire Arts Round Table (ART).

The Arts Round Table is Eswatini’s foremost arts industry development workshop promoting skills sharing, digital media development and best practices throughout the continent. It offers opportunities for brands to network and achieve a wider reach.

An ongoing partnership with the Berlin-based Africa Rising Music Conference (ARMC) enables direct networking and connections, as well as artist exchanges, between European and African music markets. Apart from online workshops that take place prior to the festival, the ART series of workshops takes place on the Friday of the MTN Bushfire festival weekend annually. These workshops connect aspiring artists from a multitude of disciplines with a select number of seasoned festival performers and creative industry specialists from across Africa and around the world. Artists and industry experts engage in thematically driven conversations around the professionalization and development of the arts. To date, over 940 artists and industry professionals have participated in the Arts Round Table workshops.

  • You must be between 16 and 35 years on the day of your application
  • If you are below 18 years, please email firefly@bush-fire.com for a parental consent form
  • You must be a resident of Eswatini – ID will be requested
  • You must include 2 tracks for consideration
  • You must send your EPK/ bio in i)PDF or ii)weblink
  • Your EPK / bio must include:
    • Name
    • O.B
    • Contact details
    • Genre
    • Brief bio
  • Top 20 Finalists agree to have their music submissions uploaded online for public download/listening
  • Top 10 Finalists will be required to sing along backtrack
  • Top 3 Winners will be required to sing along backtrack
  • Top 10 Finalists and Top 3 Winners will receive a stipend for their performances
  • You understand that this is a music competition for upcoming artists
  • You must have an active number registered on the MTN Eswatini network
  • Applications close Friday 24th March, 2024. Please note that only successful applicants will be contacted.