South Africa

Thandiswa Mazwai’s stellar New York performance earns praise from sister Ntsiki

Ntsiki Mazwai gave her sister Thandiswa Mazwai her flowers after the latter’s performance at the globalFEST in New York, ahead of her debut on Tiny Desk Concert.

“She who is not a white capital creation and has never sold out for political gigs. Integrity…,” wrote Ntsiki in post, after Thandiswa’s performance.

Thandiswa performed in New York on Sunday night, in what would be the wee hours in South African time.

In videos shared on attendees’ Instagram stories, Thandiswa looked regal positioned in the centre of the stage commanding her band and gripping the captivated audience.

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“Someone last night said my music felt like a sonic baptism to her.  I love the things people say to me about my work,” said the seasoned muso post performance.

globalFEST is one of the most dynamic music platforms in North America, an acclaimed annual festival and catalytic non-profit organisation for curators, artists, and the performing arts field. Mazwai is part of a slew of artists that are on the line up.

Thandiswa last released an album in 2016, Belede.  A follow up to Belede is anticipated by fans this year and Thandiswa has already begun work on the upcoming project titled, Sankofa.

ALSO READ: New York to be wrapped in the sounds of Thandiswa Mazwai’s new album this weekend

In a sit-down with Paul Mnisi and DJ Sbu last year on the podcast House of Sankofa, Mazwai said she dug into the International Library of African Music (ILAM) at Rhodes University, which is an archive of African sounds.

“They gave me access to some of the archive about 10, 15 years ago and I’ve, kind of, been sitting with this stuff at home looking at it. But finally, last year [2022] it made sense what I was going to do with it,” said the Bongo Maffin member. Mazwai said she mostly took Xhosa music from the library.

The word Sankofa is derived from the Akan Tribe of Ghana that can be translated into “go back and get it”. The essence of the meaning symbolises going back, so one can move forward.

Tiny Desk

In saying goodbye to New York, Thandiswa sent her greeting to Washington DC where she’ll be performing on the Tiny Desk Concert.

One of globalFEST’s partners is NPR Music, which is popular for its Tiny Desk Concerts. Since 2020 NPR teamed up with globalFEST for an online music festival we call Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST.

Last year’s Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST was hosted by African pop star Angélique Kidjo. Last month, Mazwai had her followers gripped in excitement when she announced in a now deleted tweet, that she’ll be performing at the NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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