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Elders can still do it

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

A group of veteran musicians have formed an organisation to uplift themselves and to prove that age is just a number.

Known as the Musician Organisation of Gauteng (MOG), it was formed in 2005 by senior musicians based in Dorkay House in Johannesburg to share ideas and keep the veterans together.

It comprises 40 mbaqanga groups that were famous in the 1970s. Most of them have not performed or recorded in the last five years.

They were famous at a time when mbaqanga was in demand, but they faded away when a new generation of musicians hit the scene.

Groups such as Isigqi Sesimanje, Dark City Sisters, Amaqhawe Ase Africa, Imvelaphi Yomuntu and many more make up MOG.

The elders are spitting mad. They say promoters and recording companies ignore their talent because they believe the seniors are too old.

Joana Thango of Isigqi said: "It is very hurtful to be forced to stop doing something you like and enjoy. Local promoters don't want to book us because they think we no longer excite music lovers. And recording companies think we are too old to record. But musician Chucho Valdes still performs at 66. I think you are never too old to record."

Grace Moeketsi of Dark City Sisters said they want to challenge both the government and promoters in Gauteng who think they do not have what it takes anymore.

"We want to prove that we are still very much alive and we can perform too. All we are asking for is a chance to show that we still have it. We won't even charge them."

Though MOG wants to help musicians, the organisation faces many challenges.

Lulu Masilela said: "It would make us very happy if businesses could help us with money for instruments and transport. We want to buy a small bus for when we perform away from home. We're jobless and can't buy a bus ourselves."

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