BORN in Mdantsane, talented local percussionist Siyabulela Sifatyi will be presenting another show, titled Eclipse, in June.
Sifatyi studied music, drama and poetry at the Sibikwa Arts Academy in Johannesburg.
“My mom was a poet, so I think it is in my blood,” Sifatyi said.
Upon his father’s death in 2013, Sifatyi moved back to the Buffalo City area where he held various workshops and taught at various schools in and around East London, including Clarendon, Aqua Vista, Crew and Hudson Park primary schools.
“Working at George Randell is wonderful. It’s one of the schools that are upholding cultural values – they celebrate, support and accommodate all cultures. That’s what I love about working there,” he said.
Sifatyi is also a musician and vocalist for the TACC (Twelve Apostles’ Church in Christ) National Gospel Choir and released an album, titled Noah’s Ark, last year. The choir is under the direction of the producer/ manager of Dolce Sounds Studios.
Throughout his musical career, Sifatyi has performed nationally and internationally, sharing a stage with various successful artists such as Lira, Retsi Pule, as well as jazz legends Andile Yenana and Nduduzo Makhathini.
“It has been a privilege to share a stage with so many talented musicians. I am so humbled that I have had these opportunities,” Sifatyi said.
He has also performed all over the world at various music festivals, including Sri Lanka, Germany, the UK and Amsterdam.
Last year, Sifatyi played for Nombasa, a musician from Grahamstown who won the Golden Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
Sifatyi’s 2015 show, African Dawn was a success and drew in a large audience.
Sifatyi hopes his Eclipse show will be just as successful – if not more.
“I’m taking a risk with this show, because the music is very different and modern. I don’t know if audiences are ready for such mature sounds, but I hope they will enjoy it,” Sifatyi said.
As a prequel to Eclipse, Sifatyi will be releasing the single Ingoma Emnandi.
The single will be released next month and will give audiences a taste of what to expect.
“With the single I want to get people interested, but also test out the sound, see if the response is positive,” he said.
Sifatyi loves nature and depicts natural phenomenon or concepts through his music, creating an atmospheric performance to enthral an audience.
As its title suggests, Eclipse will be a one-of-a-kind performance.
For the show, Sifatyi will combine his poetic, dramatic and musical skills to entertain and interact with the audience.
“I don’t perform on my own. I perform with the audience to make them feel part of the music,” Sifatyi said.
The artist hopes to one day open an African indigenous music school.
“Legends are doing a great job at teaching kids the western sounds, but there’s no one in East London teaching them African sounds and they really love it.
“I see it at George Randell, they really enjoy it. I’d love to teach more kids,” Sifatyi said.
Eclipse will be on June 2 at the George Randell Primary School hall.
Tickets have not gone on sale as of yet, but will be available from Computicket.