Nwabisa goes deep on debut

Nwabisa Mxakatho's music has a powerful message.
Nwabisa Mxakatho's music has a powerful message.

Nwabisa Mxakatho adds her voice to the growing activism around feminism and dismantling patriarchy.

The 31-year-old from Mthatha in Eastern Cape is on the verge of a promising career, spurred on by a beautifully crafted debut album titled Iphupho Lam.

She has enough groove and spunk to get you going once you listen to her Afro-pop compositions.

While rooted in Xhosa rhythms, she also samples the electric guitar, much like the Malian super couple Amadou and Mariam.

But, it's the content of the music that will make you sit up and listen.

Take the song Diamonds, in which she calls out names of iconic women who changed the course of history and others who fell victim to abuse.

"In 2018, women should be working together to fight rape and other social ills, and should empower each other."

On Iphupho, Nwabisa says she expresses her dream of seeing Africans loving themselves.

Inspired by the Hugh Masekela song of the same name, Nwabisa says Thuma Mina reminds Africans of the power they have within to change circumstances.

"Africa is the poorest of the continents, but I know that we are powerful.

"We just need to unleash our potential and the damage of being brainwashed [into believing] that we are not good enough.

"We are powerful beyond measure."

On Mama, she pays tribute to mothers who she calls the source of everything.

"My mom was a shelf packer at Shoprite and my father was a messenger at FNB but they managed to raise seven children, and all of us are educated."