Mpho Sebina takes on legendary MaBrrr song ‘Too Late For Mama’

Mpho Sebina has released her version of an iconic Brenda Fassie song.
Mpho Sebina has released her version of an iconic Brenda Fassie song.
Image: Supplied

Having made a mark with her Lora offering and her amapiano hit track Dinaledi ,which she did with Major League DJs, vocalist Mphos Sebina’s career trajectory is going up and up and her latest release of a remake of Brenda Fassie’s Too late For Mama will cement her name as a gifted musician.

The remake of the legendary song by MaBrrr is a collaboration with Gallo Records as part of the Gallo Remixed series and was executively produced by DJ Black Coffee. The song was originally composed and written by Sello “Chicco” Twala in 1989 and this release marks the 32nd anniversary of the original release.

Chatting to TshisaLIVE on the eve of the release, Mpho admitted she felt pressure to deliver a masterpiece because the song is iconics.

“I feel an immense amount of pressure to honour a legend but I had a lot of fun with it and hope people connect with it as much as I do,” she said.

In a statement sent to TshisaLIVE, Mpho laid out her reasons for taking on the challenge, saying she did it to honour Brenda’s great legacy.

“With this song, I honour the legendary African pop diva Brenda Fassie and how her story is the story of African song and artistry at its highest level. Through this song I pay tribute to MaBrrr and her beautiful soul. And I give thanks to the incredible production and creative genius that is Chicco Twala. I hope the message Too Late For Mama resonates with the people of my generation across the world, going through this time of anxiety and stress, for all the families grieving loss and hardships, I hope this song reminds us to exercise empathy, Botho, ubuntu in these uncertain times.” 

Listen to the snippet below:

Mpho also answered a quick Q&A with TshisaLIVE.

Briefly describe yourself. Who are you? What are you about?

My name is Mpho Sebina, born and raised in Botswana toa  family of music lovers who introduced me to some amazing music that shaped my childhood from UB40 to Boom Shaka. I have an honours degree in International Business from the University of Multimedia in Malaysia.

I’m an artist expressing myself through music . I’m melodist, singer, songwriter. I’m a daughter, sister to many and a proud African.

Tell us about your journey in music

It has been a journey and a half . Lots of ups a lot of downs but overall a growing process I thoroughly enjoy. I’ve had to learn a lot as I navigate through the industry about the music business and how to protect myself as an artist.

It started of the sheer passion for it and my career has grown in leaps and bounds. I’m ever so grateful. I’ve had to overcome a lot of fear and self-doubt, which is an ongoing struggle for me.

Best moments in the entertainment industry?

Collaborating with African artists I respect musically. Abidoza, Karun from Kenya. Putting out my debut album Lora independently was a liberating experience and this collaboration with Gallo honouring a musical icon to many, Brenda.

How did the decision to tackle Too Late For Mama come about?

I connect with the song. It carries a lot meaning for me as an African woman. The message hits close to home. I covered the song six years ago thinking no-one would ever hear it. It was a collective decision between Gallo and I to revisit that idea.

Do you have a memory to share made with Brenda or connected to one of her songs?

Late 1990s at the Grand Palm hotel in Gaborone. Brenda was performing in the KTV talent show and my cousin and I attended. We must’ve been nine or 10 years old and she walked right by us and embraced us with love and joy. I’ll never forget that.

Do you remember where you were when Brenda died?

I was teenage girl living in Botswana, a slave to MTV and Britney Spears at that time.

Mpho’s Too Late For Mama is available across streaming platforms.