'A Letter to Azania encapsulates a deep longing'

For over 20 years Thandiswa Mazwai has been one of the most influential musicians in South Africa.

She presents a powerful audio-visual show titled, 'A Letter to Azania', at Johannesburg’s Lyric Theatre on Saturday.

READ:Friday Profile: Thandiswa Mazwai

Speaking to Bongani Bingwa when asked about being a voice for the generation, Mazwai says it is because she began performing at a young age.

We started at a time when there was such opportunity for things to come up and a generation that was still finding itself.

Thandiswa Mazwai, Musician

The whole Kwaito generation - when you look at Mandoza and you look at the work that Kalawa has done, you look at Mdu, Arthur, these are people that created a massive industry that then fed other industries.

Thandiswa Mazwai, Musician

We are looking for this place where we can truly feel free.

Thandiswa Mazwai, Musician

When asked about Letter to Azania, she says:

I guess growing up in South Africa I have always felt a sense of displacement; a sense that I had to return somewhere. I grew up in Soweto mostly and I have always known that Soweto is a place of displacement and we didn't really want to be in Soweto. But because of the mining industry, people were displaced from their original villages to come and work in the cities and in those cities, they were placed in areas like Soweto.

Thandiswa Mazwai, Musician

So I have always felt a sense of displacement, even as a young person, my mother would say we need to go back home.

Thandiswa Mazwai, Musician

So A Letter to Azania is about this longing and encapsulates this deep longing for something or someone.

Thandiswa Mazwai, Musician

Listen below to the full interview:


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