Top Bay afro-jazz outfit calls it a day as members focus on studies, solo projects.
After a music career of almost a decade, Nelson Mandela Bay Afrojazz outfit, Modern Tribe, has disbanded so its members may pursue careers and studies.
The group, which comprises Themba Jack, 21, Thoba Goba, 20, Melikhaya Xotyeni, 21, Spoki Mntengwana, 21, Cayla-Rose Jack, 18, and Zizipho Bhekapi, 22, was started in 2007 by Themba Jack. Back then, they called themselves the New Afroteens.
Their first album in 2010, Siyazazisa (We introduce ourselves), featured top musicians including South African legend Hugh Masekela and US singersongwriter Puff Johnson. It was produced by multi-award winning Lawrence Matshiza.
“Its very sad we are coming to an end as a band. However, this will give us a platform to venture out. It will give us a chance to focus more on our school work, but the singing will never stop,” said vocalist Melikhaya.
Themba said the disbanding of the group was unavoidable.
“It’s very sad but it became really difficult to get people together to practise. I am recording my own album and my sister, Cayla-Rose, is going to study in Cape Town,” he said.
Band manager Karen Jack, Themba and Cayla-Rose’s mother, said: “All good things come to an end and this is the end of an era for New Afroteens/ Modern Tribe. The band members have grown up and some are leaving Port Elizabeth while others are busy with their own things. We are enormously proud of each of them.”
The band started when Themba was 14, she recalled. “They were so small then. We have seen them develop into brilliant musicians and well-mannered, enthusiastic young people.”
Themba has finished his degree and is now recording his own electropop music and Cayla-Rose is about to study B. Comm. Zizi is off to Europe with a Dutch-South African production while Spoki is continuing with her degree. Thoba is starting his third year of music and Melikhaya is keen to keep singing, Karen said.
– Yoliswa Sobuwa