SMANGA GOES LOCAL

HE might have been born in a family of musicians, but Smanga Nokwe is not going to ride on anyone's success and wants to be his own man.

HE might have been born in a family of musicians, but Smanga Nokwe is not going to ride on anyone's success and wants to be his own man.

The Nokwes are wealthy and popular, so it would have been easy to use the family name when launching his musical career. But not Smanga.

Yes, he admits he has tapped into the family's wealth, but he is going it on his own.

Little-known Smanga has already cut an album with an American company but it has not yielded much success, though he was nominated for Best R&B Album at the South African Music Awards and Best Male Vocalist at the Metro FM Awards.

His offering, Soul Connection, was recorded under the name S Davies, his other name. Now he is dumping the American image for a more appealing African onee. In his new album, which is set to be released in August, he will be Smanga, as his stage name suggests.

"It's not as if I don't like the Nokwe family. I am very proud of it. I want people to like my music because it is good not because I'm a Nokwe.

"If I give people good quality music they will know that I'm a Nokwe. I want to produce songs that inspire people," Smanga says.

A sound engineer by profession, who has worked with Siphokazi and gospel singer Deborah Fraser, Smanga says he has for years been working on his musical career with the guidance of his famous aunt, Marilyn Nokwe, a backing singer for Mango Groove.

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