Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

Sultry jazz singer Lira was puzzled when she was given the cold shoulder last Friday night in the SABC1 promo announcing the new season of the Girlfriends series.

The promo in question goes on to mention Angie Stone, India Arie, Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Erikah Badu, Corinne Bailey Rae, Mary J. Blige, Persia White, Dre, Algebra, Estelle and Amy Winehouse, on the Girlfriends soundtrack.

Yet it ignores Lira, the only local girl among the international stars.

Simone Berger, head of the SABC promo division, says she is unaware of the oversight.

"If Lira is on the soundtrack and there is no mention of that I agree that she would have been surprised," Berger says, promising to take it up. "I appreciate your bringing this to my attention."

Lira says: "I saw the promo but didn't know who to ask what the issue was. Some things are worth fighting for.

"Whatever the situation, the song is on the soundtrack and is about to make the international soundtrack. I should have been celebrated but it really takes nothing from me."

In the same week, Lira's impromptu birthday composition for Madiba's birthday was singled out to be posted on the 46664 bangle website.

Lira was invited with other artists to Kaya FM to celebrate the legendary statesman's birthday. Her inspired rendition bowled Robert Cruz of NMF over.

"He said my composition was the most genuine and real," she says. "To think that when I did it I just saw an opportunity to write from an honest space. So when I saw Sliq Angel with a guitar and Killa Mafra with the drum, I chose to sing rather than talk.

"That it has made the website reinforces my position as an artist and might even lead to more opportunities.

"I really hope to meet Madiba. The song is as much mine as it's Sliq and Killa Mafra's."

A source at the NMF says Lira will not be allowed to make money out of the song.

"The Foundation is a nonprofit organisation. We cannot accept something that will be used for commercial gain."

Lira retorts: "I am content not to make money but I want to bring attention to the website, which will encourage people to visit it to learn about the foundation's activities."