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SA’s Siphokazi just loves SD

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By Ntombi Mhlongo - SWAZI TIMES-08-Aug-2009

Siphokazi Maraqana was one of the performers during the Bush Fire festival last week Saturday.

The tall artist, who could have made it as a model, proved to be very popular in the country and had a huge following. The humble and down to earth songbird during an interview with Gcwala said she was honoured to be in Swaziland yet again because she liked the hospitality and honesty that Swazis gave her in last time she was here. There seems to be no stopping Siphokazi and below, Gcwala takes you through her music career so far. The moment she entered the music industry, the young talented female vocalist and composer, Siphokazi has shown her unique talent and has since been recognised for her composition skills.

Talented

But little do people know that this talented songstress acquired other qualifications before she truly discovered her musical talent. Even though she was born with an amazing singing voice and musical talent, Siphokazi didn’t jump into the busy industry and try her luck for quite some time. But in 2000 she enrolled for a music technology course at Central Johannesburg College, studying sound engineering and music production.

With the skills she attained from the course, in 2006 Siphokazi released her first project, ‘Ubuntu Bam’ under Native Rhythms. The project marked a new beginning for the composer, as it successfully manoeuvred its way to the top. ‘Ubuntu Bam’ didn’t take too long to become a favourite amongst music lovers and officially put the artist on the musical map.

Afrosoul

Born in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, as young as she was, Siphokazi’s Afro-soul music, with a traditional jazz and gospel feel, touched the hearts and souls of young and old. In no time, the creative composer had proven her worth and smoothly continued to lift her trophy. But before she became a house-hold name, Siphokazi polished her talent as both backing vocalist and as a featured soloist with some of the country’s top talents such as Tshepo Tsola, Ringo Madlingozi, Pat Matshikiza, Simphiwe Dana, Zamajobe and Stimela.

Marking the success of ‘Ubuntu Bam’, Siphokazi walked home a happy woman following the 2007 South African Music Awards [SAMA] after being awarded the Best Newcomer and Best African Adult Contemporary Album.

Prestigious

Adding to her success, she scooped three prestigious awards for Best Newcomer, Best Produced Album and Best Female Vocalist at the 8th Metro FM Music Awards. After the success of her first release in 2008, Siphokazi released another album simply called ‘Ndinovuyo’ produced by Lawrence Matshiza and executively produced by the award winning Malambule.

Let it be said that this female vocalist is no stranger to the stage; she has performed at many concerts, including the opening of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup hosted in South Africa.

When listening to her music, the humble and down to earth artist impresses listeners with a pleasurable sound and once she starts singing, it is amazing to realise how talented she is.

Shiphokazi’s music is backed by solid song writing ability. Her skills as a composer coupled with her studio know-how, gives her music a unique feel. Sipho-kazi’s music is mature, and surprisingly so for a lady this young. With a vocal maturity that belies her tender age and comes across in her music, Siphokazi is practically tailor-made for the mellowed genre.

Jazzy

It’s always great to hear outstanding talent coming from the youth league of South Africa. Siphokazi has proved to be another ambassador for the jazzy afro-soul sound. There is no doubt that the young composer is following the footsteps of legends such as Letta Mbulu, Dorothy Masuku, Hugh Masekela and Mariam Makeba to name but a few Siphokazi is also an ambassador for the One Love campaign in South Africa. She had a few words of advice to her Swazi fans on how they could protect themselves from HIV/AIDS.

“It is important for a person to take care of herself and respect herself so that others can respect her,” the down to earth Siphokazi said. She also said no one could force another person to abstain so it was important to stick to one partner and use a condom all the time. She said it’s also important to trust and be trusted.

She added that it was very important for lovers to talk about what is happening in their relationship and resolve issues and also protect their partners from HIV/AIDS.

Siphokazi said she was proud of performing during the Bush Fire festival because they are very close to her heart. She said it was very important for us to take care of children because they were the future. BY PHEPHILE MOTAU


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