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Thandiswa Mazwai - Ibokwe

2009-02-16 13:11
 
Listening to Thandiswa's Ibokwe is hearing your heritage being reborn in pop, witnessing tradition interrogated and reinvented, and rediscovering a critical pride in Africa and South Africa, that bridges the gap between disappointment and blind faith. It's also an intoxicating, heart-melting, bewitching musical experience that's as uncontrived as it's complex.
Ibokwe
 
The muscular femininity of this passionate Freedom Charter chick, whose voice is as soft as it is penetrating, links a story about the dizzying power of a spiritual calling ("Thongo Lam") to her struggle to deal with trouble without the last resort, ("Ibokwe"), to a prayer for a return to the first principles of our revolution ("Ngimkhonzile").

The album is deeply personal, but Thandiswa celebrates and interrogates not just her own Xhosa tradition, but also her pan-African roots, going beyond the obvious with recurring Maskandi themes on "Izolo", and reaches further north with the tropical rhythms of "Vana Vehu" to bring all South Africa together over our outrage at what so often divides us - crime and cruelty.

Collaborations with Bra Hugh, her daughter Malaika, Ntomb' Ethongo, and sister Ntiski Mazwai bring her heros and family into the songs. Rather than disturbing the flow of her own style, their contributions make her shine more brightly.

Thandiswa's often asked if she's come to us to fill the big shoes of Mama Afrika, Miriam Makeba. A strange question, considering Thandiswa's chosen to take a route much more off the beaten track than Makeba trod. Rather than bringing the jazzy international gloss Makeba gave us, Mazwai harnesses a more bewitching power that makes the tiny Busi Mhlongo look ten feet tall onstage. Rock stars and pop stars are the priests of a more and more secular world and though this album isn't evangelical, it provides the spiritual comfort, the counselling and healing, that all great music should in times of trouble, with tracks like"Abenguni" affirming unity and African pride.

But the greatest music should also provide an easier kind of joy. This is the power of pop. And although the whole album is a brilliant blend of pleasure and meaning, Thandiswa also provides a party. So there's the sexy "Chom' endaka", and the kwaito-house jol track "Vakahini" (the only co-written, with Mandla) to finish you off laughing and sweating.

Ibokwe is definitely one of the albums of 2009, and a work that'll last a long time. I could imagine sitting the daughter I don't have down one day, and saying "listen to this". It's that good and that important. It's Thandiswa's first Urbanzulu, and hopefully not her last.

NEXT ON CHANNEL24X

Ed Sheeran - X

2014-07-18 14:27

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(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
Zuuu 3/1/2009 2:37 PM
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Yho, I have the album, its briliant, she takes her work very seriously! I like the different styles of music in her album, no song sounds like a rendition of the other song! Well done Queen Thandiswa Mazwai!
Mora.com 3/12/2009 12:11 PM
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Well Thandiswas album its cool nothing much I can complement but I loved her 1st album from start to finish and it showed me that Mam-Madosini had a huge impact and thats why the album sold more copies and I still Dig Zabalaza more than Ibhokhwe. My Fav tracks are Ibokhwe, Ngimkhonzile & Ingoma only so I like 3 out of the 9 songz.
mama mokobane 3/13/2009 9:22 AM
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i love thandiswa's music and herself as an individual and as an artist to bits i wish i could just be with her for a day because i'm her biggest fan!
Yvonne Fombe 3/15/2009 7:59 PM
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My sister you rock!! I love Thongo Lam vuma coz it reminds me to go back to my ancesors when ever i am in trouble. More fire Mwana Wevhu!!
Hazel 3/28/2009 12:01 PM
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Wena uyingoma ekhalub'sukubonke. YOU ROCK SISTER KEEP ON BLESSING US. I DONT KNOW WHAT SOUTH AFRICAN MUSIC WOULD LIKE WITHOUT YOU. XOXO
Gugu Mkhabela 4/9/2009 10:30 AM
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Beautiful review for a beautiful album. Ibokwe is a classic.
THOBELA MAYINJE 4/29/2009 11:17 AM
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I knew i was gonna be blown away!! Well done Thandiswa, keep up the good work!! I love all the tracks in the your new album, i'm somehow glued to one particular track called Itshom'emdaka, goodness i luv it!! Well done Sisi.
sindisiwe 5/30/2009 11:26 AM
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damn gal, ur album rocks like crazy. hope you carry on producing us with the good music.
Bongiceba Phahla 6/1/2009 3:30 PM
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This lady is amazing. Home girl, i 've been a passionate follower from bongo muffin, and her first solo album was a marvel this one is beyond. too many nice tracks to choose a favorite. she's not a singer but a musician.
tidimalo 6/7/2009 9:10 AM
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well deserved 5 stars, the album is great listen to it every morning, the whole of it!
Shati Kunene 6/10/2009 9:08 AM
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I have always been a fan of thandiswa i like her style of dressing and music, so anything that she releases rocks for me so keep the african image and music alive. You are the best sister. Remember that i believe that everything thandiswa touches turns to gold. Good work
Vuyi 6/15/2009 8:28 AM
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camagu thongwelihle, your music rocks. ndiyaxhentsa ngezingoma zakho mna mntu ugulayo, keep it up gal
Lerato 6/23/2009 1:10 PM
I have been listening to Izilo day-in day-out for the past two weeks. It takes me back to my childhood, but also has this whole timeless thing about. OMG! I think I'm about to Thwasa, but this song does things to me. Thandiswa - o tseba taba tsa hao, Ausi.
Busisiwe Matlhabadile 6/24/2009 5:57 PM
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Yoh, Yoh, Yoh Thandiswa mina ngithi, you rock my world, always have and probably always will, you see like yourself, im an Afrikan sistah, and your music represents wot we stand 4, aluta continua my sistah. keep up the good work, my fav track is Abenguni, actually i love your whole album
cwengile 6/25/2009 10:16 AM
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love it.............i love it..sensational i tel you..thandiswa always delivers.i can go 2 any music shop and jst buy your music without even listening 2 it first,COZ YOU HOT LYK THAT!!!!
Phinah 6/26/2009 3:00 PM
After your remarks about the national anthem, I am certainly going to make 100 copies of your CD and sell it on the streets! Stop using national heritage as your marketing tool lady!
Oscar 7/7/2009 3:23 PM
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Ow, ow, ow... Wen'uyingoma! Ave ndikuthanda sis'wam, xa ucula ithongo lam comes closer and closer. Andikwazi unkunganyakazi. Keep up the spirit of the revolution ide ibokwe ilale ekhaya. You and Simphiwe are the best young musical artists to come out of South Africa post-1994. We are very very proud of you. Niyiqhube njalo!
Lindiwe Ngubane 7/16/2009 11:43 AM
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Blessed Empress your album is divine, takes me to another spiritual level. The fact that ucula ngolwimi lase khaya also teaches us the young one's to pride ourselves ngento yethu. Nuff said........You are the future
khau 7/27/2009 7:01 PM
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Thandisaw is such a great singer,i love the individuality of her music and the way she portrays herself to the whole world.i would like to see her performing in Bloem some time soon.i love the way she dresses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Maropeng Serumula sa mollo 7/29/2009 2:12 PM
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Empress so divine ever looking fine woman you shoulda know Ngiyakukhonza its true you are using your music as Ibokwe healing whosoever embraces your work, walking out of my house in the morning without hearing at least two tracks from your Ibokwe album is a taboo, i am truly hooked to your music, I certainly know that you are here to elevate africans to a high level of consciousness about their africanness and they are faced up with on an everyday basis. Ibokwe album including other tracks you've made are timeless, camagu thongwelihle. Andi sa lale nami ndizingwelwa izilo. You are blazing once again, as usual like the Phoenix.
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