Phuzekhemisi gets own stage musical

CHUFFED: Maskandi legend Phuzekhemisi PHOTO: Veli Nhlapo
CHUFFED: Maskandi legend Phuzekhemisi PHOTO: Veli Nhlapo

THE life and prolific career of maskandi muso Phuzekhemisi has been turned into a musical theatre production.

Titled Maskandi Fire Imbizo: The Musical, the show is directed by Edmund Mhlongo.

Mhlongo who previously produced Ladysmith Black Mambazo Musical defined Phuzekhemisi, whose real name is Zibokwakhe Mnyandu, as a role model for the youth. Mhlongo plans to mesmerise international audiences with planned dates in New Orleans and Chicago next year.

His production will be officially launched in October in Durban, while the auditions will be conducted nationally in May.

The singer's career which spans 21 years, backed by 21 successful albums, motivated Mhlongo to pen the musical. Mhlongo believes that Phuzekhemisi, deserved the honour because he was a true ambassador of African traditional music.

He has had collaborations with different artists locally and internationally such as Thandiswa Mazwai, Nkunzemdaka, Ihashi Elimhlophe, Mfazomnyama, Professor and Tzozo, Trevor Payne, the Barbados-born singer, and Zimbabwe's Kennedy Ntsimba. He has had more than 19 international performances as well as 22 accolades.

"I wanted to tell his story and celebrate his music career because Phuza plays the original maskandi sound. In all these years, he has not moved from his original sound. I feel that his story must be told so that people get to know him better," said Mhlongo.

A humble yet excited Phuzekhemisi regarded the gesture as the biggest honour.

"I am happy that I am being honoured while I am still alive. I was chuffed when Edmund told me about the idea."



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