Superstar musician Busiswa strongly believes that the secret to being proudly and unapologetically African is deeply rooted in “uncovering our lineage, embracing our ancestry and celebrating family history”.
The SBWL singer has done exactly that by featuring in two-part show Love & Hip Hop: Lineage to Legacy that premiered this week on American television — a local airdate has not been confirmed. February is dubbed Black History Month in the United States.
In the show, Busiswa teams up with stars Remy Ma, Yandy Smith-Harris, and Rich Dollaz of popular reality TV shows Love & Hip Hop and Black Ink Crew as they explore their roots and ancestry. Fellow SA star and Jerusalema hit-maker Nomcebo Zikode also makes a guest appearance.
Late last year, Busiswa embarked on a six-week tour in America. The Beyoncé collaborator travelled across six cities and performed at eight events including Afro Carnival and One World Global Music Festival.
At one event she opened for Nigerian megastar Wizkid and was then approached by the show’s executive producer Mona Scott-Young to be part of the two-part special.
Busiswa admits that she was taken by surprise. “Obviously, it’s very exciting for me to be on such a show because Miss Mona didn’t need to have an African artist as part of their cast,” Busiswa says.
“However, I do not see this as validation but more growth for my brand. Seeing global platforms opening up to African artists, you will understand why a lot of people use the phrase ‘Africa, your time is now’.
“When Miss Mona gave me the call, I couldn’t believe it. I was also intrigued at how personally involved she is with the reality show and the research she did on me. She actually pitched for me to be on the show with the understanding of the work I have done until now.
“The fact that I am a proud African Xhosa woman who can appeal to the global market, is what also stood out the most for me.”
Busiswa takes pride in who she is, mainly because of what her mother and grandmother taught her regarding Xhosa cultural customs and how she needs to wear her African beauty with delight.
“I said yes to the collaboration because I’ve also had prior opportunity to discover my heritage and lineage and being able to help another person uncover who they are and where they are from as Africans was truly an honour to witness,” Busiswa says.
“Seeing the cast discover themselves as Africans and learning what excites them about their African ancestry was such a beautiful sight.”
So what interesting discoveries did Busiswa make through her participation on the show?
“As a South African singer, it is truly profound to see more African-Americans and Africans in diaspora longing to find their roots,” Busiswa says.
“In 2019, I witnessed such a beautiful yet heartwarming event called The Year of Return in Ghana where Africans from all over the world come back to the country and the African continent to celebrate who they truly are.”
The My Power singer shares that her scenes were shot in Atlanta, Georgia. Her role on the show was to meet with the American artists and exchange with them how it is like to be someone who has always known her lineage, clan names,
heritage, culture and is able to make music in her native language.
“For me, being a part of the show signified us (Africans) taking ownership of who we are, taking up space and controlling our narrative in terms of how we want our stories to be told. So, with a platform such as Love & Hip-Hop, someone like me is able to tell an original African story,” Busiswa adds.
Busiswa is not slowing down with her international domination. Next month, she is set to be one of the headliners for AfroNation Puerto Rico alongside Megan Thee Stallion, Burna Boy, Tems, Omah Lay, Wizkid and other African talents.
She has also been announced as one of the numerous performers heading to Portugal in June 2022 for the Trace Made in Africa Festival.
“In terms of music, I can’t reveal who it is I will be collaborating with in a song but there may be something in the pipeline, you just have to keep eyes locked on the show,” Busiswa teases.
“However, what people can look out for is a song I collaborated with Nigerian artist Naira Marley after the success of our last and most successful song (Coming). I’m also looking forward to an EP I did with my first artist, Zulu Money, who’s signed under my record label Majesty, we are hoping to call it Twin Flame.” — SowetanLIVE