South Africa will experience original indigenous African music compositions by two women from two generations, influenced by jazz, soul and Tshivenda rhythms from Kgomotso le Roux and her mentor Rosy Morero Bulane aka Neno, whose sound is a fusion of mbaqanga, gospel and Sesotho traditional music. In addition to live performances, audiences will also see the première of the Khwela Factory clothing range.
Kgomotso le Roux, whose music draws heavily from Tshivenda traditional rhythms, writes in isiZulu, Sesotho, French, English and Shona. Her debut album Unoyiwawa is titled after a mythical African super hero, the ‘Strong one who does not fall, protects communities from natural disasters and is the daughter of Nomkhubulwane, the African goddess of rain, nature and fertility.’ Nomkhubulwane is strongly related to the origins of humankind from an African mythological perspective.
Le Roux has spent 14 years in the music industry in various capacities. She began writing at the age of 9, started her sessions as a backing vocalist in 2003 and has gone on to work with an array of artists such as Mpumi Dlamini, RJ Benjamin, Ifani, Letoya Makhene, Blondie Makhene, Tlale Makhene, Yonela Mnana, Theo Nhlengethwa and Tresor. Her love for composition has seen her produce original music for children TV programmes Takalani Sesame and LEGO and recently featured as a performer at Dr Sello Gallane’s Pula Festival at the State Theatre in Pretoria, September 2017.
Neno, who is 78 years old, will also launch her album Ha Mojela, with the support of the Khwela Factory and Le Roux, thus beginning the journey of having her compositions performed. Dressed by clothing from the Khwela Factory range, the musical duo will be backed by an amazing band that features Nhlanhla Neville Radebe (double bass), Yonela Mnana (keys), Mabeleng Moholo (percussions), Kgomotso le Roux (mbira/vocals), Vumile Mchunu and Musa Nkosi (vocals).
Le Roux and Neno’s relationship dates back to Le Roux’s time as an academic researcher at Wits University where she was exposed to Neno’s music during her ethnomusicology studies in 2006. Neno, who had an erratic recording and performing schedule, had enjoyed a successful career in the 1970s, having signed to Gallo Records. She later left the music industry to pursue a career in acting.
‘If it wasn’t for Neno and Mme Seipati Bulane Hopa, I would have never given our music a chance and I am looking forward to the launch of our albums,’ says ecstatic Kgomotso Le Roux. Le Roux’s journey till this point has been hard as a young black woman artist and entrepreneur.
Tickets to the launch cost R100 and R20 for kids under 16. Both albums Unoyiwawa and Ha Mojela will be available for sale at the launch for R150 each and performances will start at 15:00 and end at 18:00 on both days.
The launches will take place at The Motlalepula Chabaku Foundation in Soweto on 2 December 2017 and at Glory in Melville, Johannesburg on 3 December 2017.