Ugu Jazz Fest: Nkulee Dube sings for her legendary dad

2011-06-25 00:00

“IT’S all for him,’’ says singer Nkulee Dube, the daughter of slain reggae star Lucky Dube, killed by hijackers in 2007 at the age of 43.

He was murdered as he dropped off his teenage son at his brother’s house. Nkulee, 20 at the time, was in the car. “I will never forget that night, my dad is the driving force behind my music. It’s all for him,” she said.

Having just arrived from Germany’s International African Festival, Nkulee will perform at the prestigious Ugu Jazz Festival today before jetting off to Canada, Germany, the U.S., Australia and then New Zealand to launch her new album My Way. “My music is a blend of soul; jazz and reggae — my dad’s influence is distinctive,” she said.

Studying graphics and design, Nkulee worked for two years, before the burning desire to perform and bring forth the family legacy became too much. Similar to her dad, who was forced to perform outside of South Africa’s apartheid perimeters, she too finds her music better received oversees, only this time its not due to an unjust system.

“South Africans just don’t support their own people enough; I have my biggest fans in the UK and Americas (South and North), she said — adding that talent is bountiful here and that local music needs to be taken more seriously. “SA music is highly regarded internationally, it’s just beyond me why we can’t support our own people,” she said.

Nkulee has already appeared in a compilation album released by Sillywalks Entertainment in Germany, where her song Give it to me features among the world’s greatest reggae and ragga songs by artists such as Sizla. She also featured on albums by Skwatta Kamp members Slikour and Nemza as featured artist.

“Nothing beats performing at home, so today in Port Shepstone should be magic,” she said. She dedicates Dirty Hustle to her dad’s murder.

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