Thandiswa Mazwai reminds people why she is SA’s beloved songbird after concert release

Legendary South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai. Picture: Supplied

Legendary South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 4, 2024


As her fans eagerly await the release of her album, legendary musician Thandiswa Mazwai has dropped her NPR Tiny Desk concert, reminding many people why she is one of South Africa's most beloved performers.

After an incredible concert earlier this week that was lauded on social media, the singer of the hit song ‘Nizalwa Ngoobani’ offered fervent gratitude to her team, claiming it was a dream come true.

“Tiny Desk was one of those dreams that came true for me and my fans. It was intimate, and the team at NPR was extremely generous. Thank you to GlobalFest for hooking us up. The show was shot on a snowy day in DC this January. They usually ask that performances be kept to about 15–18 minutes. So we did about five songs, some of them shortened.”

While many people are still acknowledging the concert’s success, Mazwai is getting ready for the release of her single “Kulungile“, which features Nduduzo Makhathini, on all streaming platforms on April 12.

She played through the song’s meaning, emphasising its central theme of healing from childhood trauma.

“Sankofa in the Ghanian language means to go back and fetch what’s been left behind — what is important, what honours you, and what needs healing. ‘Kulungile’ is about healing some of the traumas that we experience as children. Many of us have faced rejection, abandonment and sexual violence. This song is for that child within that seeks justice, comfort and healing.”

Mazwai will be releasing her much-awaited album, ‘Sankofa’, in May, and this is set to be celebrated with an exciting performance at Carnival City, Johannesburg, on May 11.

“The making of ‘Sankofa’ was a thrilling sonic odyssey that took me from the villages of the Eastern Cape to Dakar and New York, weaving a thread that culminated in something truly special. Within those ancient rhythms and polyrhythms, a common lexicon revealed itself to me, and I am excited to share this music with those who have been growing and evolving with me. Listen out for uhadi, umrhubhe, ngoni, kora, and drums in the music. It is about a celebration of the pan-African spirit and reconnecting with the African diaspora,” she said speaking about the album.

Launched in 2008, NPR Music in the US hosts a live concert video series called Tiny Desk Concerts.

Usher, Taylor Swift, Babyface, Burna Boy, and many more artists from various genres have performed on the platform, which has made a name for itself as one of the best in music.

The Star