Nelisiwe Sibiya detoured on international plans for Lockdown gig

Nelisiwe Sibiya
Image: Instagram

After countless failed auditions‚ Lockdown star Nelisiwe Sibiya was ready to pack up her things and take up jobs in theatre overseas before her song Mama Ka Bafana became an unofficial national anthem.

The song has dominated playlists ever since the prison drama Lockdown first burst onto TV screens in January last year‚ but Nelisiwe said it had come with a lot of sacrifice and hard work.

In an interview on Power FM this week‚ Nelisiwe claimed that she had gone through the most to try get a gig in Mzansi‚ even trying out for Idols SA.

"I realised that they don't take me seriously at auditions. I've been to all the auditions in my life. I have tried. I've been hustling. I have been to Idols SA. So‚ I decided that I will get myself an iPhone and post videos of me singing acapella videos."

The videos went viral and caught the attention of producer Mandla N‚ who was working on the ideas for Lockdown. Even after recording the song for the show‚ Nelisiwe was convinced that maybe she was better off taking her shot on productions overseas.

Powerful vocals. Amazing nje

"Honestly‚ I was literally leaving the country to go work as a music theatre performer but because of that song‚ which everyone wanted‚ I decided that 'you know what? I am going to stay in my country and work on myself as an artist."

During an interview with TshisaLIVE last year‚ Nelisiwe revealed that the song was written only three days after her mother's death and carried much of the anger and pain she felt at the time.

"I was told think of why women would be sent to prison and I reflected on how so often it was in self-defence. I haven't really spoken about this before but I grew up in a very abusive environment at some point. After matric‚ I decided I couldn't stay in that environment. I had saved for three years to go study and left for Pretoria. I took the money from my fees and started building a house for my mother so that she could also leave that environment.

"My mother moved in before it was even done and just as I was putting the finishing touches to it‚ she died. I was angry at everything that had happened‚ so you can understand the emotions‚" she explained.