For over 20 years, Thandiswa Mazwai has been one of the most influential South African Musicians of this generation. On Saturday, 24 November, she will present a powerful live show entitled A Letter To Azania at Johannesburg’s Lyric Theatre.
In an interview with ZAlebs, Thandiswa expressed that this show is not only just for entertainment value, but to also aimed at educating people about the idea of Azania.
"The show is about me exploring the idea of Azania and how attainable it is. Azania for me has always been an aspiration of the oppressed black masses. It is the promised land," she explained.
In addition to that, Thandiswa said that the process of creating this show required her to dig into her memory and find where this idea of Azania came from. She also mentioned that although she'll share a bit about her childhood, she won't reveal anything much about her private life.
"The planning involved loads of reading and digging into my own memory to see where/when the Azania seed was planted. The show won't necessarily expose people to my private life but I will get candid about a few things."
Although Thandiswa has transitioned throughout her career from being in a group, to working on a successful solo career, she insists that she's always maintained the same characteristics. "I am exactly what I have always been, uncertain, afraid, brave and very multi-dimensional," she shared.
Regardless of the type of genre of music she creates, there has always been a form of identity and message that she's infused in her music. When asked what exactly informs that direction of her music, the award-winning musician explained: "My music has always been informed by the desire to memorialise my mother and hold on to her teachings since she died when I was a teen."
Like the legend that she is, and having worked closely with icons such as Hugh Masekela and Busi Mhlongo, and considering the knowledge that she accumulated throughout the years spent with them, Thandiswa went on to share the greatest life lessons her mentors have taught her throughout the years.
"The biggest lesson that any of my mentors taught me was to give of myself and do it selflessly. Love was a very central message not the pursuit of fame or money," she told ZAlebs.
If you're a fan of Thandiswa's music make sure you catch her this Saturday at Gold Reef City’s famed Lyric Theatre.
Main Image Credit: Instagram/@ThandiswaMazwai