'Novice' Khoisan is a veteran of song

Botswana singer Khoisan Maxy. / Michael Pinyana
Botswana singer Khoisan Maxy. / Michael Pinyana

New kid on the Afro-soul block KhoiSan Maxy of Why Uvuma fame is not really a novice in the music industry.

The singer has been enjoying a successful career in her home country Botswana before coming to South Africa. KhoiSan Maxy, real name Olebile Sedumedi, is popular in Botswana for her traditional Tswana and Khoisan music that she has been producing and singing for more than 17 years. She started singing professionally in 2001 and has 13 albums under her belt.

Her stage name, she says, was motivated by her roots as her maternal great-grandparents were of San origin.

Sedumedi, 38, said getting into the music industry in Mzansi was something she had always wanted because she regards the country as "the Hollywood of the continent" when it comes to music.

"Botswana has a small market compared to South Africa. So coming this side meant growth for me," she said.

She told Sunday World that when she came to Mzansi in 2004 for the Kora All Africa Music Awards, she sang Brenda Fassie's Mama I'm Sorry during radio interviews, something that sold her to veteran producer Chicco Twala.

From then on, when Chicco booked her for shows around South Africa, she would also perform Brenda's songs.

She said she never thought of relocating to Mzansi at the time because her career was at its peak in Botswana. It was only last year that she started working on a move to South Africa.

"I asked my ancestors to release me to allow me to grow my career and spread my wings."

She recently released the album Why Uvuma under Universal Music, produced by Robbie Malinga. The 12-track album includes three Khoisan songs and it is her first Afro-soul offering.

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