The Voice: Vusi Mahlasela

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Monday October 29, 2018

From Aljazeera

The Voice: Vusi Mahlasela reflects on his life in music and activism

Vusi Mahlasela is one of South Africa’s most respected and gifted musicians, poets and activists. Over the course of a 40-year career he has chronicled his personal experiences and those of his compatriots, traversing the abuses of the apartheid era and the subsequent struggle to tackle inequality after policies of racial discrimination ended in the early 1990s.

[…] Mahlasela has since released six other studio albums but he thrives most in a live setting, where his reputation as ‘The Voice’ finds its fullest expression. His performance was one of the highlights at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration in 1994, as well as Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations. Mahlasela’s music has transcended country, inspiring collaborations with musicians including Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and the Dave Matthews Band.

He is now embarking on a tour called ‘Township’, inspired by his his early musical experiences in his grandmother’s bar in the Mamelodi township just outside Pretoria, where he still lives. It’s a love letter to the mbaqanga, kwela and marabi sounds of the townships.

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