South African folk musician Bongeziwe Mabandla will perform tonight at an indoor concert at the Alliance Française in Harare.
Local upcoming artist Frank Mapfumo will provide the opening act at the concert. Alliance Française director Charles Houdart said Mabandla was invited because of his immense talent.
“Together with his band, Mabandla has created a matchless Afro-folk sound, fused with his soulful voice delivering in Xhosa, sometimes in English,” said Houdart.
He said the Eastern Cape-born musician’s sound had a rhythmically grass-roots vibe, while fusing elements from traditional Xhosa music, mbaqanga, soul, hip-hop and dub.
“His music was genuine and introspective and it documented the experiences of human life and reflected his background and personal journey through self-discovery and awareness in post-apartheid South Africa.”
Influenced by artists like Tracy Chapman and Lauryn Hill, as well as the South Africa’s Simphiwe Dana and Jabu Khanyile and Zimbabwean superstar and guitarist, Oliver Mtukudzi, Mabandla’s music is a fusion of traditional African and contemporary folk sound.
Mabandla grew his early passion for art and music in Tsolo, a rural part of Eastern Cape and he learnt the guitar at 17, matriculated from Lady Grey Arts Academy and studied drama at a Johannesburg film school, Afda.
“As a student, he soon turned to music, started to write songs and performed in solo gigs, while developing his own unplugged music style and earning recognition as a musician,” said Houdart.
In 2008 Mabandla independently released an EP titled Umlilo with producer Paulo Chibanga from the dub group 340ml and hip-hop group, Tumi and the Volume. Together they are developing work for a full album.
Mabandla has also completed the music video for his first single, Isizathu. He is also known for acting and has had a role in popular South African soapie, Generations.