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Tuesday, November 24, 2015


(Menyatso Mathole)

The Rainbow Restaurant & Concerts SA will present the Menyatso Mathole Quartet on November 29.

Menyatso Mathole was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and was brought up by a grandparent in Thaba' Nchu. leaving the Free State when he was a little boy.

He learnt from most of the older generation of guitarists. He lists what is a who’s who of South African guitar legends: Enoch Mtalane, Baba Mokoena, Allen Kwela and so on.

However, his biggest influence of all time is Marks Mankhwane, who was the first guitarist Mathole heard as a young man growing up in Thaba' Nchu in the Free State. “I’ve always wanted to be like Marks, to play like Marks, because his music is so real to me, so honest. It’s always been honest to me. You can take a simple Marks Mankhwane song and take it further, breaking it down, all this without losing Marks’ identity in the song, without losing any of the melodies.”

Like most youngsters of his generation growing up around the country’s townships, the first musical instrument, if you can call it that, was the old can of oil, with a board held together by nails. Twine, if one is so lucky, made wonderful guitar strings.

He bought his first “real” acoustic guitar for 15 shillings from an old friend in Thaba' Nchu, “who didn’t think it was right of me borrowing the instrument all the time, and felt that I should in fact be owning my own guitar”.

In 1980 Menyatso Mathole co-founded Sakhile a combination of Malombo, Renaissance & Spirit Rejoice. He produced six albums plus a maxi album with Sakhile and with this band was involved in cultural exchange programs internationally and locally. They commemorated their 10th anniversary as a group at Wembley Stadium celebrating the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990.

In 1991 Menyatso enrolled with the University of Cape Town to study music. The following year he recruited Motlatsi Herbie Tsoaedi and Vincent Pavitt to revive the trio he’d formed with Mandla Zikhalala and Percy Kunene before his UCT days.This trio became one of the platforms for township musos such as Musa Manzini, Peter Ndladla and Clement Bernie. His approach to African folksongs and jazz standards attracted established musicians, legends like Robbie Jansen, Basil Manenberg Coetzee, Errol Dyers, Robert Sithole and more to jam with him and embrace his talent.

The Menyatso Mathole Quartet will perform on November 29. Doors open at 13h00. Tickets R60 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