A message of inspiration

MESSAGE OF HOPE: Phillip Khoza. © Sowetan.
MESSAGE OF HOPE: Phillip Khoza. © Sowetan.

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Afro-folklore musician Phillip Khoza exudes confidence and has a strong will to succeed - despite choosing to base himself in faraway Thulamashe, Mpumalanga.

This exciting artist, who is also a schoolteacher, has every reason to feel confident: He has just released a soulful folklore album simply called South Africa.

His inspirational message is one of hope, defining South Africa as a unique country that is managing to unite former enemies.

In the true sense of the Rainbow Nation spirit, Khoza sings that former foes can now sit down as friends, learning to understand what forces drove them apart for so many years - causing so much misery.

In an interview with Sowetan this week, Khoza said making music was his "whole life" - and that the release of his album was a realisation of a journey that started when he was a young boy in love with all forms of music.

Later, he became a member of the well-known Thulamahashe Soul Lovers. The formation of this band followed the collapse of another band that he, together with Bongani Nxumalo and Mozambique's guitar maestro James Khoza, formed in 1984.

"Music has always been my passion in life, and the release of my debut album is a fulfilment of that dream," says Khoza.

Singing mostly in Xitsonga, the musician, who is also known as "Sobamgijima" cleverly mixes Xitsonga soul with Afro jazz, creating a sound that can be placed between that of the legend Paul Ndlovu and new Afro-jazz find, Julius Nkuna. Add his nation-building lyrics into the mix, and you have a unique album that will soon find space in many music collections throughout the country.