I am so humbled by how my music career is unfolding. In May this year I got to share the stage with the National Poet Laureate, Prof keorapetse Kgositsile and Lilitha, an artist from the Eastern Cape, both hosted by me at Winnies Soul and Jazz Restaurant in Joburg.
Last Saturday, I had the honour of featuring Bro Vusi Mahlasela, Commanders Fanele Mbali , Tsietsi Mokhele and Commissar TT Cholo at my live performance at the Ditsong Cultural Museum in Tshwane. The show was su…ch a success.
Yesterday after voting we headed to TUT in Soshanguve, me my husband Raks and my brother Howard. We were invited to attend a small gathering of students, the management and service providers. I was taken by surprise when the host invited me to sing for the guests, unprepared, without my guitar not even a mic. I had to go a Capella. The humbling thing is how they were so attentive and truly appreciating my rendition, and I am glad that I will be performing with my band at their gala dinner next week on Monday. Equally exciting, is that I will be performing for students who will be celebrating Women’s month. These are the kind of spaces that I like to be in. Where we engage intellectually while we have fun.
I have done it again. Through my record label “Kayanima Music, I have just finished recording my second album, a single titled ” Nank’ uNomvula”. Composed, authored and Executive …
Source: Nank’ uNomvula
I have done it again. Through my record label “Kayanima Music, I have just finished recording my second album, a single titled ” Nank’ uNomvula“. Composed, authored and Executive produced by me. It comes with a remix, done by DJ Chris “Madcap” Moseneke. In the main song i worked with talented artists:- lead guitar: TK aka Tokoloho Moeketsi, bass guitar: Frans Marule aka Nzunzu, piano: Siyabonga Sibanyoni, drums: Tladi Kometsi, percussions: Julius Nkuna, saxophone: Teboho Kaunda, backing vocals: Lucia aka Sthombe Gumede & Nelly Kunene and of course myself on lead vocals. My talented music producer Lungisani Masondo did it again, just as he did in the first album “Tata”. This time, I did everything at Jaspa Stuidios, the recording, mixing and mastering. Mpho is the man behind the production. And of course i can’t leave out my handsome and talented son, Nkosinathi Tsewu who is my photographer/videographer and general assistant. I love my team and I am grateful for the wonderful work we produced. Thanks to my family and especially my husband for the continuous support. We always have to sacrifice a lot to get this done. Love you darling, ALWAYS!
Now look forward to the soulful tune coming out soon. The launch is on the 21st May at Winnies Jazz and Soul Restaurant, Woodmead, Joburg.
Behind every successful WOMAN, there is a loving and supportive HUSBAND. I am grateful for having the love of my life, my husband, Morakabe Raks Seakhoa, behind me throughout all my endeavours in life. As I enter into the music industry, I do that with courage knowing that I am protected in his loving arms, comfortable in his heart and standing tall on his shoulders.
Thank you, my Darling, for your undying love and support.
By Your Side On Your Moment of Glory
(For My darling Sindiswa Emily T S)
I must heap praise on you towards your glorious path to stardom,
When you a goal chase, you do that in gleeful abandon,
Wasting no second on needs other than fulfilment beckons,
Like these now moments of bliss satisfaction awaits yet
To you I must heap praise upon praise on your glory-filled path to stardom
With your guitar all ready, in tune, perfect and strong,
Your voice atimes aquiver with emotion aplenty,
Panic driving you to melodies foretelling and sweetly
As you strum your strings into the belly of stardom,
Let me akimbo stand, cheering you to heights on and yet on,
For, once up there,
Nothing, but nothing this side of earth will in your way stand
10 Jan 2015, 16H17, Randpark Ridge
Raks Morakabe Seakhoa
Tata – An Exercise in Exorcism
South Africa’s liberation was knitted with a thread and needle by brave men and women who, a few years earlier, had guns pointed at and brutalised each other. They turned their swords into ploughshares and a result was an ideal the country’s first post-Apartheid President Nelson Mandela told a packed Palace of Justice (Pretoria Supreme Court) in 1964 he was prepared to “…live for, but, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die…”
The long struggle for liberation produced freedom songs that bemoaned the atrocities of the time. Some of the best recorded works in South Africa’s musical catalogue were written in the quest for liberation.
Twenty one years later, blues singer Sindiswa Seakhoa, celebrates the miracle of life born out of that suffering in her debut album, titled, Tata. “The album was inspired by the ability to express myself and address issues close to my heart and reflect what I stand for”, Sindiswa says. The energy in the album feels like an exercise in exorcism.
While there has been complaints that post-liberation South African musicians are mirrors of cultural imperialism and have lost the essence of their relationship with rhythm, Seakhoa’s songs flirt with both love, self-love, tragedy, nostalgia, celebration and those folksy songs that remind a listener of the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape, spruced with colourful Tshwane’s rural homesteads and livestock.
You also get a sense of what Bob Marley called ‘Redemption Songs’, those that are void of ego and seem to have been written by a community for its rituals and ceremonies. Isililo selizwe is one such and chronicles conflict zones around the world; from Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Europe, America, etc and asks the question ‘why’. Sindiswa sings, “Afrika yintoni na/ Amerika yintoni na/Asia Europe yintoni naa? Kutheni naa nibulalana okwezilo”. She goes on to beg the Almighty Lord to descend the Holy Spirit to heal the world.
Sindiswa’s strong social, human and cultural activism become also notable in another song “ Khulumani”. Post liberation Africa needs more musical reminders since the shaking off of the colonisers’ yoke often meant keeping cultural practises which in themselves are neo-colonial and oppressive; most notably is patriarchy and religious subjugation. Some of those practises that Khulumani is calling for their revisiting to weigh their relevance in an evolving society include Female Genital Mutilation, which is practised in Africa, Europe, Middle East, North America and Asia which has no medical significance apart from being a form of punishment rooted in archaic perceptions of women as non-sexual beings but only bearers of children. FGM is one of those ethnic practises that must be unyoked like colonisation.
In a song titled Watheth’ uAchebe she pays homage to the departed giant of African literature and sage, Chinua Achebe. The song is carried through a strong instrumental backgdrop and a soulful delivery that makes it the perfect soundtrack for a mind trip in the quest for deeper knowledge of what Achebe portended for Africa’s tomorrow.
In I am Beautiful she oozes self-love which makes her declare, ‘I am beautiful/ I need no validation’, a tongue-in-cheek swipe at identity self-denial by some Africans and other previously-colonised societies around the world.
She goes on to display both her vocal prowess and guitar playing with mild riffs in another heartfelt song, titled, Tata, Ndiyakukhumbula, a tribute to her father, Madiba, and all other men of goodwill. It’s a love song with rhythm to jive to, something often ignored in laments. Music is both entertainment and expression and it has no business being sombre if it is to be enjoyed.
Sindiswa’s inspirational and uplifting songs are reminiscent of artists such as Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu, Joan Baez, Nina Simone, Sibongile Khumalo, Cesaria Evora and many others she upholds. The album is nuanced with labations that respond to something uttered by the late mbaqanga Queen Busi Mhlongo: “we were always in the church long before we went to church”.
Apart from her music, Sindiswa has acted in many theatre stage and television productions, including Black Age, by Selaelo Maredi; Cabbages and Bullets, by Johnny Loate, The Transistor Radio and The Wheel, by the late Nigerian political activist, author and playwright, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Bessie Head’s Maru, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Soul City and the Missing Link.
She has also done professional script readings and adjudication for community theatre.
Sindiswa’s music is a Xhosa, English and Setswana fusion of classical African traditional sounds and contemporary rhythm and blues. It’s not Afro-pop in the commercial sense but you can boogie and reflect to all the 9 songs which include Ndibuyile’khaya, Thank You Glasgow, the latter that is a token of appreciation for Scotland’s support for the then-Anti-Apartheid Movement, and many others.
Sindiswa will launch her debut album at the State Theatre, Tshwane alongside jazz legend, Dr Johnny Mekoa, Menyatso Mathole, legendary poets Lefifi Tladi, Keorapetse Kgositsile and other artists on the 30th April 2015 as part of the International Jazz Day celebration.
Released on 6th April 2015
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2015 becomes another interesting year in my artistic career. Having started my journey in the arts in the 1990s as an actress, then became a playwright when I released my debut play “The Pain” which won the 1998 FNB VITA AWARD as the Most Outstanding Production at the Windybrow Annual Arts Festival. In 2002, my second play “Thespian” was part of the Young Writers Festival at the Market Theatre.
Since then my involvement in the arts has grown tremendously, especially in the literary field. As part of the wRite associates I have been involved in many projects including the South African Literary Awards, Africa Century International African Writers Conference, the Literary Heritage Lecture Series, Literary competitions, Publications and Literary talks.
Under the wRite associates, I also had the honour of founding and heading the Miriam Tlali Reading and Book Club, a legacy programme of the South African Literary Awards and the Tsebe Reading and Book Club and Tsebe Community Library
My poetry appears in the Timbila publications and Artvist magazine, the latter a publication of the national Department of Arts and Culture. My television appearances include Soul City and the Missing Link.
On 30th April 2015, I will be launching my debut album, titled, “Tata” at the State Theatre, Tshwane as part of the International Jazz Day. I give thanks to God and my ancestors for guiding and supporting me in all my endeavours.