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FORMER Xitsonga disco music queen Candy Mokoena, who has reinvented herself as a traditional, soul and Afro- jazz musician, is headed for the stars.
With the release of her new album, Siki (Five Cents), the first one in this genre, she seems to have finally found her groove.
The album has been beautifully produced by young producer Trevor Mabunda, who, according to Mokoena, is the best thing that ever happened to her music career. She says he is a gem who understands her style very well.
Siki is marketed and distributed by Sony/BMG.
And judging from people's reaction the industry has warmly embraced this hot offering. Siki has been nominated for the Best Sepedi Traditional Music category of the South African Traditional Music Awards and radio stations are increasingly playing the album.
Mokoena said this week that she had never before been so happy in her life.
"The Mopani municipality gave me an award in recognition of my contribution to the music industry and Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale personally called to congratulate me.
"Radio stations Capricorn FM, Kaya FM, Munghana Lonene, Thobela FM and others are playing my music regularly. This is the music I grew up listening to and have been hoping that one day I would have an opportunity to record it. That's happened and people simply love it," she said.
Sung mainly in Xitsonga, Tshivenda and Sepedi, Siki sings about love and child and women abuse.
"This album has opened doors for me. Siki talks about relationships, how a wife and a husband must look after each other when times are hard for one of them. I do not see why a wife must not look after her husband when he is not working and vice-versa, for example.
"It is also educational because it speaks out about the struggles of especially rural women, who often have to hold the fort while their husbands work in the cities, sometimes for long periods, and even for ever.
"One song speaks about child abuse within the family. Abusers are often not strangers, but close family members. Mothers know about the abuse, but suffer in silence. Speak out about abuse and get help," Mokoena advises.