Q & A with Jessica Mbangeni who nabbed Best Traditional Song at the Satmas

By Drum Digital
16 November 2016

The energetic artist recently scooped Best Traditional Song of the Year at this year’s South African Traditional Music Awards

Very few artists can boast that they’ve shared the stage with international artists such as Beyoncé and Peter Gabriel, but Eastern Cape born musician and praise poet Jessica Mbangeni did just that, at one of the 46664 concerts held in honour of late former president Nelson Mandela.

(Satmas) for Busisiwe: Tribute to the African Heroines.

You grew up in rural Ngqamakhwe in the Eastern Cape. Tell us more about moving to Johannesburg and the challenges you've encountered

"Growing up, my teachers and my family always encouraged me to follow a career in music. At a meeting with [gospel singer] Vicky Vilakazi and his father, Apostle Vilakazi, they prophesied that I would go to Johannesburg to further my music."

Was joining the Soweto Gospel choir a turning point for you?

 "It was without doubt the most powerful turning point of my life because I earned a living through my talents, I traveled the world for the first time as part of the choir. It was a very exciting moment for me and that platform encouraged me to be authentic and proud of who I am.

What does your Satma meat to to you?

"It’s a big recognition and a huge honour. I will forever be indebted to the likes of the late Sophie Mgcina and the legendary Victor Ntoni for their inspiration and the role they played in my musical journey."

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