Appreciating the beauty of life with Bongeziwe Mabandla

For the very first time South African singer Bongeziwe Mabandla is set to grace Australian shores with his afro-folk sounds on the 20th November at the Foundry 616. Bongeziwe was nominated twice for the South African Music Award, and also had the pleasure of singing at the Nelson Mandela tribute on SABC1. Whilst your being hypnotised by his sounds that will take you to another world entirely, Bongeziwe joyous performance is one not to be missed. 

We chat to Bongeziwe Mabandla about what it was like to perform a tribute for the late Nelson Mandela, what we can expect from his show and why writing his new album has been a difficult journey. Margaret Tra writes. 

Are you excited to come to Australia? What are your expectations of Australia?

I very excited. I never even dreamed that I would ever come to Australia, so I'm just trying to take in as much as I can. I knew so little about Australia before I came here so I didn't have any major expectation. 

You’ve blessed a few countries with your music, how does that make you feel?

It's amazing to be able to share music so many different people, it's been a dream of mine to play around the world so I'm always so happy to see that come alive. I feel extremely blessed to embraced by different cultures

What can we expect at your show at Foundry 616?

I'm going to bring some songs from my album 'Umlilo' and also some new songs. I'm busy working on some new songs so I'm excited to showcase some of the new material trying to finalise everything still.

You’ve been nominated a few times for the South African Music Award, what was the whole experience like?

I was disappointed mainly because so many people said me "you're gonna definitely win". But it was a great night, my mother was there with me. I performed the song I wrote for her definitely a highlight!

You also sang at the Nelson Mandela tribute on SABC1, what was that like?

It was a sad time, but it felt wonderful to be able to honour such a great man who had so much love for his people. He has influenced my life so it was indeed an important performance for me.

Are you working on any new projects?

I'm currently writing my new album, it's been difficult journey I really want to make a better album than my first one and that isn't always clear. So finding the right producer and the right song is still something I'm working on. I have decided to be patient and just understand that for it all to be good. It has to mean something and waiting for the correct movement and the correct effort is not something to be afraid off.

What stimulates your soul?

Lately just being alive! I am more grateful I was born than ever before, which usually takes a lot of heartache to get there. I realise that life is indeed beautiful, so yeah, I can say I'm stimulated by the beauty of life that I never saw before.

Event details:

What: Bongeziwe Mabandla and Sarsha Simone
Where: Foundry 616, Sydney’s leading jazz venue, 616-620 Harris Street, Ultimo
When: 20th November 2014