Singing about 'real issues'

MASKANDI'S new kid on the block, Ichwane Lebhaca, is keeping his fingers crossed on the eve of the South African Traditional Music Awards (Satma) tomorrow at Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC in Durban.

Born Zelule Mtshali, the musician has been nominated in the category of Best Song of the Year for the track Babanga Ifa and Best isiXhosa album for Ubuyile Umaqondana eGoli.

He said he was keeping his fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

"The nominations came as a surprise. I was not expecting it," he said shyly.

"I started singing maskandi in 1993 but could unfortunately not record my music due to financial constraints and the failure to secure a recording contract. But that did not deter me from singing."

He attributed the success of his first album to his style, which he described as the "real traditional music" - laid back, yet with a genuine message.

"I sing about current issues, from politics to natural disasters. I sing about the happenings of the day in real people's lives, which is what I think makes people love my music.

"I sing about what happens in their daily lives.

"I regard myself as the next Phuzekhemisi or Phuzushukela.

"My music has an impact on people's lives because I confront issues through it," he said.

He pleaded with his fans to vote for him on 34066.