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Saturday, August 29, 2015


(Tu Nokwe)

Tu Nokwe and Bheki Khoza will perform at the Rainbow Restaurant in Pinetown at lunchtime tomorrow (August 30).

“This concert is a long time in the making,” says the Rainbow management. “As you know, Bheki Khoza is a legendary performer. Every time he performs at the Rainbow Restaurant we ask him "when will you come back?" When he last performed, Tu Nokwe joined him briefly on stage for a number and that was - "when can you perform together??" Now we have the pleasure of announcing their concert together.”

Tu Nokwe is a member of one of South Africa’s most famous musical families, sometimes called the Jacksons of Africa. Her parents are music legends in their own right – Patti and the late Alfred. Five of the six family members have made music their life. There is no messing with their make-up and destiny has decreed that it is time for a new Tu Nokwe album.

Following the release of her 1996 hit album, Inyakanyaka, Nokwe has continued to strive as a singer, guitarist, composer and lyricist. Her passion and love for children and community work is the driving force behind her music and it has resulted in her latest album release, African Child. This album was a project two years in the making. It is finally complete with a 13 track selection, 80% of which is her own original material, intertwined with a few traditional African standards.

Ilanga Emkhukhwini, written by Nokwe’s uncle Joshua Mzimela, is a track about suffering, however, she renamed it Ilanga, which means the sun (in the squatter camp), which gives the track a new meaning - evidently the opposite of the original meaning intended. Mama Wam is based on the hit song by Doris Day Que sera…. where Tu Nokwe has taken this song and given it Zulu lyrics. It is a song known and loved by young and old alike.

Letting Go is a special tune for her in that it came to her after the death of Moses Molelekwa and his wife Flo and how it caused such sadness, especially for their young child. Nokwe felt a connection and realised there was meaning in it for her; in that in order to move on in life, one has to let go. This track was one of the last added to the album.

Ngane Yakwethu and African Child / Bambelela are original works inspired by encouraging the birth of the African Renaissance.

Nokwe describes her music as New Age African, spiritual and inward looking with elements of Afro-jazz and funk. She also finds herself very moved by the drum and acoustic sound. All the tracks on the album are named in Zulu and English so that a wider audience are able to connect with the tracks.

African Child is sending a message to the quintessential African child: Listen to the music and you will find direction; you cannot go forward without going inward, hence the image on the cover of the child in the lotus position. And indeed, the message is an age-old African one: Go within! She was nominated in the category of Best Female Artist at the SAMAs.

She has traveled extensively on international tours with her band. Many places like America, Europe and England have become her second homes. In all these counties, she has collaborated with musicians in song writing, performance and music workshops.

Bheki Khoza is the well-known left-handed guitarist from Umlazi outside Durban. In 1991 he received a Talent Award and scholarship to study music in America. He returned in 1995 after studying at the University of Hartford, Connecticut, with the great Jackie McLean.

While in America, Khoza was resident with Larry Ridley’s Jazz Legacy band playing the whole spectrum of African American music. The band was headed by Larry Ridley himself, who played with Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollin, Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Kenny Burell, George Benson, Dexter Gordon and far too many other musicians to mention.

By the time he left America he was already making a name for himself playing clubs like Blue Note, Saint Mark’s Zinno’s and Smalls, a famous club often referred to as "The Mecca of Jazz”, which has jam sessions every night to all hours. Khoza also played at the famous Shamberg auditorium in Harlem.

Prior to studying in America, Khoza played with the African Jazz Pioneers, Abie Cindi, Sipho Gumede, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Rene McClean, Victor Ntoni, Mike Makhalemele, George Lee, and Barney Rachabane, among others. He also backed South Africa’s famous songbirds, Sibongile Khumalo, Sophie Mgcina, Dolly Rathebe, Abigail Kubheka, and Thembi Mtshali.

Tu Nokwe and Bheki Khoza will appear at the Rainbow Restaurant tomorrow (August 3). They will be joined by the great Melvin Peters on piano, Mandla Zikalala on bass and Sbu Zondi on drums. Doors open at 13h00. Tickets R80 booked through

The Rainbow Restaurant Estd 1981 is situated at 23 Stanfield Lane, Pinetown. More information on 031 702 9161 or 083 463 8044 or email: or visit

If you access this posting in time, you can also catch Tu Nokwe as the headline act at The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music’s 27th Annual Jazz Jol tonight (August 29) at 19h00. The venue is on Level 2, Shepstone Building at UKZN. Entrance is through main UKZN gate, Mazisi Kunene Avenue. Tickets R120 (R80 pensioners and R60 students)