Thandiswa Mazwai: Here to to stay

Since breaking into the music industry as a member of kwaito group Jack-knife, Thandiswa Mazwai has become a household name synonymous with musical excellence.

Although her last album was released in 2011, songs from her solo offerings Ibokwe and Zabalaza are still popular at social gatherings all over Mzansi. 

After years of scooping awards and performing on world stages, the fame and love from fans should come as no surprise for the vocalist, songwriter and former lead singer of Bongo Maffin but she maintains that the success brought on by her singing still amazes her.

“I always knew that there were people who sang better than me, I never thought I would make it to this level,” said Mazwai on her musical journey.

“All I noticed was that something would happen to people when I sang, I found that people noticed me more when I sang,” she said. 

Her talent was discovered by Kalawa Jazzmee co-founder Don Laka who was impressed by her performance during the Shell road to Fame music competition.

She was then introduced to Stoane Seate, Speedy and Jahseed, a trio who were in need of a female vocalist to complete their band.

Together the group went on to become of the country’s most successful kwaito group.

“I spent 10 years of my life working with this group and travelling the world making hits,” Mazwai said.

Her decision to go solo broke many fans’ hearts but Mazwai believes that it was time for her to do something for herself.

Today the much celebrated singer says she is at a stage in her life where she is very relaxed and at peace.

Working with young talent is her new passion. She recently collaborated with newcomer Mashayabhuqe KaMamba after he won a competition in which she offered to feature on the winner’s single.

Mazwai looks forward to experimenting with different sounds and admits it might be interesting to add a bit of Afrojazz and Afrosoul on to the hip hop genre, something she will consider when looking at new collaboration offers.