CULTURE

Meet Mthwakazi The Pioneer of The Xhosa & Opera Fusion – Xhopera

Xho-pera, indigenous bow music, a musical journey, this is Mthwakazi. Hailing from the Eastern Cape, South Africa.  Mthwakazi, is a Xhosa Opera singer songwriter and performer from the Xhosa land of Eastern Cape, South Africa. uMthwakazi has a pioneered a new style of music known as Xho-pera which synthesises African Indigenous bow music, Classical, Opera and Choral. Her repertoire is mainly derived from Xhosa Bow Music and is firmly entrenched on African dance rhythms. The songs are sung by an extremely dynamic, angelic and operatic (dramatic soprano) voice and carry a message which emphasizes optimism, progress and advocates for ubuntu (humanity) as a way of living. The music deeply explores our cultural heritage as Africans and powerfully promotes the use of the Xhosa language.

Mthwakazi seeks to awaken the forgotten times of great healing. The music represents unity between Africans, elders and the youth, different genders and different races; as everyone who listens to the music feels a sense of ownership and belonging to the music and message.

Mthwakazi (Bongiwe Lusizi), descends from the Xhosa land (Eastern Cape) eMdantsane NU13 and her passion has taken her across the seas to different countries including London, Paris and Holland. At the age of 13 she was trained in Western music through the London based school, Trinity Music College of London. Mthwakazi has been trained across a number of voice categories including, Mezzo Soprano, Coloratura, Dramatic Soprano, and the Lyric Soprano. In 2009 Mthwakazi began recording her debut album titled “Amaxokwenza” which was released this year of 2016 under Qangi Qangi Productions.
From 2010 she was featured in the album of one of Gallo Music Records stars, Simphiwe Dana, and on the album of the summer nominee jazz artist Lwanda Gogwana and also on the album of the metro awards nominee Indwe. She was later invited by Simphiwe Dana as a guest performer in her DVD album performance which was recorded at the Gold Reef City’s “Lyric Theatre” 2011 (Youtube – Simphiwe Dana featuring Mthwakazi). Over the years she has since performed alongside other Music greats like, Sibongile Khumalo, Neo Muyanga and Tina Schau in the Dance Theatre production “The Guardian Of The Flames” in Arts Cape Theatre 2009, Lwanda Gogwana at the Cape Town Jazz Festival 2012, Simphiwe Dana at the Buyelakhaya Festival 2013 and the Kaya FM Baseline Event 2016, Mahotela Queens at the SABC 3 show “The Morning Edition 2016. She recently performed at the World Aids Conference in Durban 2016 alongside the jazz singer and trumpeter Dash Hill from Georgia (US).

Mthwakazi is also involved in arts development, where she works with Qangi Qangi Productions Outreach Programs which offers the following workshops to youth across the rural communities of South Africa. The program offers training in: African Indigenous music and instrument making, voice training, basic music education, and performance and choreography.

Source: Mthwakazi Brings Xhopera, Xhosa Funk, and Indigenous Bow Music to Alexander Upstairs Theatre

 

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