Afro jazz star wants to stop E Cape exodus

Yoliswa Sobuwa

SHE has toured Europe and played a leading role in world-renowned musical The Lion King but now New Brighton-born Afro jazz singer Phinda Mtya-Matlala is trying to keep Eastern Cape performers in the province.

Based in Johannesburg, the 46-year-old feels Eastern Cape performers are forced to look for greener pastures because they do not have enough support at home. Mtya-Matlala, seeing the sorry plight of artists in the province, started her own music company, Matlala Music.

She signed choral group Nelson Mandela Voices earlier this year and the group is now working on their debut album, due for release before the end of next year.

“I understand the mentality of this exodus, there is no support for the artists in this province. I remember there was a time when I organised a fundraising concert for the Nelson Mandela Voices.

“I invited everyone from private to corporate and government people. Not one donated even R1,” she said.

Mtya-Matlala is also promoting her fourth album, Never Luvd A Man Like I love You, a collection of love songs.

She joined South African band Mahube, with Oliver Mtukudzi and Steve Dyer, in 1997 and toured Europe and other areas with them.

She returned to South Africa in 2000 and landed a leading role in Lebo M’s Broadway production, The Lion King. She co-wrote the soundtrack with Lebo M to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission documentary Long Night’s Journey Into Day.

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