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CANDY Mokoena, former Tsonga music disco queen who reinvented herself as a Sepedi folklore and soul music artist, has been properly rewarded for her efforts by the industry.
Mokoena, who goes by the stage name Candy, romped home with a South African Traditional Music Award (Satma) statuette in the category for Sepedi Traditional Music at the weekend for her latest album Siki (5 Cent).
The recognition has understandably delighted Mokoena, coming as it does only a few weeks after the album was released.
The album is currently enjoying extensive airplay on a number of radio stations across the country. There is no doubt that it will sell like hot cakes.
Sekedi Candy Mokoena was born in 1970 into a musical family in Limpopo.
She started singing and dancing in her mother's traditional group, which played African and Sekgapa music.
In 1993 Mokoena joined the late Peter Tenet's band. She composed a song called N'wayingwani, which cemented her role as leading Xitsonga disco musician.
She has since collaborated with many musicians of note, including Oskido, Jeff Maluleke, Penny Penny and many others, before carving out a solo career that took her all over southern Africa.
But it is this latest album that has given her new musical impetus and a new identity.
"This award means a lot to me. It shows that I have worked hard. I feel proud because I am accumulating a lot of fans across the country.
"I am very thankful for the support that I am getting from my fans.
"When they called my name to accept my award I felt as if God was calling me," Mokoena said of the awards ceremony that took place at the International Conference Centre in Durban on Saturday.
The album was produced by Trevor Mabunda. It has been released through Sony Music.
Mokoena will launch her album at the Meropa Casino in Polokwane on Saturday. Entry is free.