“Mam Busi Mhlongo inspired the type of sound that I do in my music and I have learned a lot about the spiritual musical journey through following her footsteps and that was her speciality,” said Dube.
Naledi Award winner, Nhlanhla Dube pays tribute to the legendary Busi Mhlongo at the South African State Theatre. Picture: nhlanhladube_sa/Instagram.
JOHANNESBURG – Award-winning performer, Nhlanhla Dube is honouring the late Busi Mhlongo in concert.
The tribute music concert, titled Isikhumbuzo, kicked off on 29 March and is set to end on 02 April 2023 at the South African State Theatre.
Mhlongo, regarded as one of the most versatile artists to ever grace the South African music scene, passed away in 2010. The legendary artist’s music style ranged from marabi, traditional Zulu music, fused with contemporary elements from jazz, reggae and West African music, among others.
Mhlongo’s career spanned over 40 years, with three South African Music Awards for her 1998 album Urbanzulu.
Mhlongo’s storytelling through music was also widely regarded as politically influential, speaking to issues such as tribalism and racism.
Dube said Mhlongo will forever be relevant as teachings in her music are part of the life South Africans are experiencing now.
“She sang about building and uniting the nation. Her music addressed social and economic issues which we are still living under as we try to build our country into a better place. Hence, I’m still motivated by her music because she cared so much for the people of colour and believed in helping them,” Dube told Eyewitness News.
THIS WEEK ONLY! We have a date with Nhlanhla Dube as she honours her idol Mam Busi Mhlongo.
Tickets are still available at Webtickets https://t.co/BDGeofwBf2 pic.twitter.com/9upxw46E6b
‘ SA State Theatre (@sastatetheatre) March 27, 2023
The Tembisa songbird said, naturally, Mhlongo has inspired the type of sound in her music.
“I have learned a lot about the spiritual musical journey through following her footsteps and that was her specialty. She was always embracing the spirit of ubuntu, and fighting racism, tribalism, apartheid through music and always diluting different sounds to educate the world about our cultures and values,” said Dube.
I have had the wonderful honor bestowed on me by @sastatetheatre to mentor one emerging artist, @nhlanhladube_sa, in preparation for her tribute concert to Mam Busi Mhlongo. We have a new star! Her show runs from today 30 March to 2 April. Do yourself a favor and head over there! pic.twitter.com/uT2dBgSEJr
‘ music.as.love (@simphiwedana) March 29, 2023
Dube believes in art’s important role in communicating the key socio-economic issues of the day.
“The art’s role in a nutshell is to communicate and educate about changes to people who genuinely care for the arts and what’s happening around them. Artists have been a good example to society by showing the world a better way to live in such a hard time in our country,” said Dube.
She promises that audiences will be spoiled with sounds of maskandi, mbhaqanga, afro-pop and afro-soul. And along with tribute songs, the muso performs her rich catalogue which features hit single Amaphupho.
Dube, a mentee with the State Theatre’s incubator programme, said she was thankful for the opportunity.
“In the industry, you learn every day. The more you grow the more you receive a new chapter of challenges that will help you better yourself. I am grateful to the State Theatre for giving me a platform to get to share my talent with people that visit the theatre. I am grateful for the best team; I am proud of myself for pulling through and pushing me to grow more,” said Dube.
The concert is directed by Meshack Magabane.