White maskandi star

2014-10-12 15:00

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A young, white maskandi artist, David Jenkins, who is popularly known as Qadasi in music circles, is following in the footsteps of his role models Mfaz’ Omnyama, Johnny Clegg, Phuzekhemisi, Ihashi’ Elimhlophe and his mentor, Maqhinga Radebe.

With his two albums being nominated for the SA Traditional Music Awards in 2011 and this year, Qadasi’s star is rising as a white maskandi artist.

The self-taught guitarist and accordion player churns out hits such as Uhambo Olusha (A New Journey) and Ngikufisela Inhlanhla (I Wish You Luck) since his 2011 debut album, Child of Africa, was nominated for a best newcomer award at the SA Traditional Music Awards in 2011.

The Empangeni-raised artist has been making inroads into the highly competitive traditional music genre made famous by the likes of Phuzekhemisi, Mfaz’ Omnyama and Ihashi Elimhlophe, among others, since the age of nine.

Although his mastery of the language often betrays him when he sings, he scores 10 out of 10 for taking the better part of his life to learn the ways of the people whose music style he performs.

I commend the young musician for taking time to understand, speak and immerse himself in the Zulu tradition and emerge as an artist. It is not every day that white people take time to do this.

Jenkins is proof that it can be done without being disrespectful.

The Durban artist also appears as Paul Simon in Amambazo: The Musical. He says playing this role and opening for Johnny Clegg in Durban last year have been milestones in his career.

Amambaza: The Musical runs at the Durban Playhouse until October 20

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