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MTN Bushfire Firefly Competition Now Open in South Africa!

MTN Bushfire is thrilled to announce the return of MTN Bushfire Firefly music competition, with an exciting new development! The 2023 edition is now also open to young and upcoming South African artists, expanding the 6-year-old series to new territories. This year, the youthful music launch-pad opens its doors to both Eswatini and South African artists, creating expansive opportunities and larger reach for artists looking to explore their musical careers.

Applications for the 2023 edition of MTN Bushfire Firefly are now open! Young, up-and-coming artists from Eswatini and South Africa are encouraged to apply on the MTN Bushfire website: The series seeks to unearth under-the-radar artists, and the Top 3 winning artists get to perform at the globally acclaimed MTN Bushfire festival in Eswatini, to be held from 26 – 28 May 2023.

Launched in 2017, MTN Bushfire Firefly continues to be one of Eswatini’s most exciting projects, giving fresh #YoungGiftedFree talent a platform to share their music with a wider audience. With the new inclusion of South Africa, the project will broaden artist recognition and listenership as their music will be shared on the MTN AYOBA platform – an innovative African music and chat platform accessible across the continent.

The MTN Bushfire Firefly 2023 Edition

The MTN Bushfire Firefly edition this year remains similar to previous season formats i.e Top 20, Top 10, Firefly Grand Finale Top 3, MTN Bushfire performance. Fans are encouraged to support and vote for their favourite Top 20 artists, to get them all the way through.

Voting will be conducted via the MTN Bushfire Firefly channel on the AYOBA app, which can be downloaded from or any online download store. Personalised MTN Pulse data bundles will be available for purchase throughout the series. More information can be found on the MTN Bushfire website.

Who Can Apply

  • Applications are open to artists aged 18 – 35 years

  • Artist must have at least two recorded songs for consideration

  • Applicant must be a resident of Eswatini or South Africa

  • Applicants should preferably have performance experience

  • Applications are not open to DJs

How To Apply

How It Works

  • 6 – 26 March: Applications open to Eswatini and South African artists

  • 3 – 14th April 2023: Top 20 announcement and voting commences on AYOBA

  • 17 – 26th April 2023: Top 10 announcement and voting continues on AYOBA

  • 28 April 2023: The Firefly Grand Finale

  • 27 May 2023: The Top 3 All Stars will perform at MTN Bushfire Festival 2023

*The Top 10 at the Grand Finale and Top 3 at MTN Bushfire performances will be on backtrack and limited to 2 songs per artists

Will the public be required to vote?

Yes, a percentage of public votes are required to support ensuring that your favourite artist proceeds to the MTN Bushfire Firefly Top 3 from April 3rd – 28th.

  1. Top 20 to Top 10

  2. Top 10 to Top 3

Artist Benefits

  • Music promotion on international platforms

  • Performance with expense stipend at the Firefly Top 10 Grand Finale

  • Arts Round Table participation

  • Music Conference invites – various networking opportunities

Top 3

  • Perfomance slot at the MTN Bushfire Festival with expense stipend

Amongst the exciting prizes and new career opportunities, the three winners will perform at the internationally acclaimed MTN Bushfire festival in May 2023.

Follow us on Facebook: MTN Bushfire Firefly, Instagram: MTN Bushfire Firefly and Twitter @MTNBushfireFly to learn more about the campaign and how to enter. We have exciting giveaways and interesting music business news that we know will positively grow the music industry in Eswatini. #MTNBushfireFirefly


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