Nakhane’s Sounds From Africa performance sparks conversation and healing across generations.
I sat down with my mother, Boitumelo Mofokeng, to hear her thoughts on discovering a new generation of artists through virtual concerts hosted in 2020. Just as we were home-bound and sharing moments we otherwise wouldn’t in our busy lives, our family was also just getting used to wearing the new look of mourning.
In this conversation I learnt just how special one concert in particular was for my mother. Nakhane’s performance in the Sounds From Africa concert series was a salve for her grieving heart. The tender performance, live streamed from his London apartment, struck a chord with my mother. She revisited a thread from her childhood memories about the power of music in healing and bringing people together. I also asked, cheekily, if she would join me in attending the live performances of all the new young artists she’s discovered – when the opportunity to do so safely arises.
Nakhane is a South African musician, writer and actor currently based in London. His 2018 album, You Will Not Die, was described by Pitchfork magazine as “Strikingly intimate…Nakhane’s voice is a deep and soulful instrument, and [they] employ it with both the delicacy of a feather and the weighty drop of a hammer.” While they are widely recognised for their musical and acting pursuits, Nakhane is also the author of a novel, Piggy Boy’s Blues (2015).