THE singing Tobi sisters – Wendy, 36, Nondumiso, 33, and Nomphelo, 22 – are back by popular demand after a five-year hiatus from the music scene.
The Uitenhage afro pop group – who go by the name Fohloza, referring to their fuller figures – first burst onto the scene in 2000 when they appeared in a video for kwaito group Trompies.
They have now signed with independent record label Kalawa Jazmee, where Trompies members are involved in producing and managing other artists.
“It really feels good to be back home [with a label that has Trompies]. Our fans will be glad to know that we are busy with our second album. We have our single, which is called Kwaze Kwamnandi Ubuyela Ekhaya [it’s nice to be back at home],” Nondumiso said.
The band “matured” and welcomed younger sister Nomphelo after their cousin, Nomboniso Nkwali, left to pursue a career in East London, she said. Though the sisters have shed a few kilos, they are sticking to their original band name.
The new CD will be a mix of gospel, jazz, afro pop and R&B.
“Our CD will cater for everyone, the young and the old. We feel there is a need for afro soul in the music industry,” Nondumiso said.
Fohloza were previously signed to another label and spent some time in Johannesburg, but things went awry and they slipped under the radar.
“We had just released our first album, Sinqobile [we have conquered], when things started going wrong for us. We had problems with the payments and we decided to come back home [to Uitenhage]. The aim [when we came back home] was also to establish ourselves in our own province. Even though we have been out of the limelight for a long time, we have been busy doing so many projects,” Nondumiso said.
On that front, the sisters have been donating clothes and food to HIV/Aids patients.
“We also give motivational talks at schools. We want the school kids to know that the music industry is not so glamorous; they must not drop out of school for music,” she said.
On the personal side, the sisters also have something to look forward to – eldest sister Wendy’s wedding in September.
“We’ve been together for more than 10 years, [but] I can’t say much about him,” Wendy said.