Bongeziwe Mabandla set to wow locals

STAR POWER: Bongeziwe Mabandla will be giving two shows at the EL Guild Theatre this weekend
Picture: LIDUDUMALINGANI

Award-winning singer Bongeziwe Mabandla will be performing two shows at the East London Guild Theatre on Sunday May 2.

Mabandla’s love of music started early while he was growing up at home in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape.

He often sang in church and at school but it would be after moving to Johannesburg to study drama at the SA School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA) that his talents would truly bloom.

His first album, Umlilo (“fire”), was released in 2012 although he’d already achieved international attention the year before after he was named one of the top ten finalists in the 2011 Radio France Internationale Discoveries Awards.

Mabalandla released his second album in 2017. Titled Mangaliso (“marvel” or “miracle”), it was recorded in collaboration with Mozambican producer Tiago Correia-Paulo.

The album was a critical and commercial success and earned Mabandla the Best Alternative Music Album at the 2018 SA Music Awards.

Within the album was the single Ndokhulandela, which to date is his most streamed song on Spotify with over three million streams.

Another single, Bawo Wam, was made in collaboration with Spoek Mathambo and won the Best Music Video award at both the Capital City Black Film Awards and the Jozi Film Fest.

His latest album, iiMini (“days”), was released last year.

In between recording albums, Mabalandla has performed all over the world.

In 2019 alone, he played the Reeperbahn Festival in Germany, Lake of Stars in Malawi, Afrovibes Festival in the Netherlands, Womex in Finland and the Oslo World Festival in Norway. He also had sold-out shows in London, Paris and Zurich.

His first show at the Guild Theatre on May 2 will run from 5pm to 6pm, with the second show running from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.

Tickets are R220 per person and available from Quicket.

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