Nomfusi gets close

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

A LITTLE-known South African musician is about to hit gold in Canada at a Miriam Makeba tribute concert - and will headline the show ahead of better-known names.

The Afrikadey Festival in Calgary has chosen Nomfusi Gotyana, pictured, of Khayelitsha in Cape Town to anchor their Miriam Makeba tribute in August.

The festival, which is in its 18th year, has featured international music heavyweights such as Salif Keita and Angelique Kidjo.

Festival director Tendu Dawodu says: "We were researching possible candidates and found this dynamic little lady on You Tube. She embodies Mama Afrika's spirit. It is evident that she is cut out for international stardom."

The festival organisers are also setting up a mini tour of Canada, which will include shows in Vancouver and at the Roots and in British Columbia.

Nomfusi, who is still sharing a one-bedroom house without running water with her two siblings in Khayelitsha, says: "I have always dreamt of seeing many countries and being a world legend. I guess this is one step closer to that dream.

"Mama Makeba formed the foundation of my musical make-up. I'm proud to be an ambassador for her legacy," she said.

Locally she had the audience in the palm of her hand on February 21 when she performed Makeba's classics with a 40-piece orchestra at Spier.

It was met with a standing ovation lasting a minute.

Nomfusi and her six-piece township band, The Lucky Charms, will head for Joburg on May 28 to a do a grand showcase.