Interview; Bongeziwe Mabandla; SA’s Modern Miracle part 2

28th April 2020 BY Ivis Ngwenya

Did you think that your album would do as well as it has? I saw it hit number #1 in Botswana and respectively number #2 in France and Switzerland?

Before the album was actually number one or even before I had released it, we were trying to get people to pre-order it and we were at number #3 one day, the next number #5 so by the time the album came out I didn’t really expect to be number 1. But I don’t really think we make music to be at #1 but really my main focus is to make songs that people can relate to and understand.

Seeing as this album is based on a past relationship, how would you yourself describe the process of falling in and out of love? Do you really believe that we can ever fall out of love with someone and how do we know when we’ve found true love?

Oh wow! Yeah and that’s what the album really talks about, this idea of love , the idea that being in a relationship is way more than just being with someone. it reminds me of one of the songs Isiphelo – it was about an ex of mine and I was just trying to communicate the fact that even though we are apart I still really love and connect with her in such a deep way. I also wasn’t necessarily writing that song in the present tense, I was just saying that as we grow older, as we grow older separately I hope that we can still continue to mean so much to each other.

How do you know when you’eve found true love? (laughing) I feel like everyone thinks I’ m an expert on true love now and I am the worst. Uhm, I think when you’ve found true love you’ve found someone that makes you happy and makes you feel fulfilled and encouraged. True love is supposed to feel a certain way, it’s supposed to feel good, it’s supposed to be embracing and something that builds you and grows you!

Most if not all of your songs are in isiXhosa, would you say that this is your love language?

Uhmm yeah, I do think that music that is made in your own language it seems to be explained better, come out more naturally. I think the Xhosa thing for me, it has always been about identity and about standing up for a time/ people that were not given a chance to make music themselves. So definitely for me, it’s a black conscious and in a way a pride to represent where I come from and who I am. But yeah, I think Xhosa is a beautiful love language.

How would you describe the future of SA music?

I have always felt that SA music deserves to be right there with the biggest musicians in the world. I think we make such beautiful music, I don’t think it’s honest to say that good music only comes from western societies like the states, the UK, France etc. I think it’s all about the chances that we were never given and that chance that we’re still not being given. I find that when people want to do something south African, they’ll sort of borrowing it from south Africa with giving very little credit to the South African audience and what we do here. Our music is very soulful, it’s very touching and I do think that in the future we will defintely see a lot of our musicians where they belong; winning Grammys, selling out worldwide and having a global influence. I think as well that SA music is a mixture of a lot of styles, I know from my one musical experience that there’s a lot of musical influences in SA from listening to the radio, doing home rituals that require music, music for dancing! One day we will be up there.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

A global musician, hopefully, married with kids, I love music but I also love the beauty of ordinary life as well. I love family, I love real moments and I love real connections.

If you could collaborate with one artist dead or alive who would it be and why?

Definitely, Jabu Khanyile, he is a big inspiration of mine and I really looked him to kind of discover my voice, I used to mimic him a lot growing up!

Connect with Bongeziwe Mabandla:

Facebook: @BongeziweMabandlaOfficial

Twitter: @Bongeziwe

Instagram: @BongeziweMabandla