It’s all about love for young jazz singer Mihi-Tuwi Matshingana

Up-and-coming jazz singer and poet, Mihi-Tuwi Matshingana, says that love informs her identity as an empowered South African women.

Mihi-Tuwi Matshingana. PHOTO: Provided

“A very big part of me living out women’s empowerment is loving people, regardless of gender or how much I know you. That’s me taking my identity on as a women, and it’s also me showing you the standard.” Matshingana says this is especially important in South Africa at the moment, where identity is a very big motivator for why people act the way that they do.

Matshingana will be performing with one of South Africa’s most celebrated singers, Gloria Bosman, at a once-off Women’s Day celebration concert at the Endler Hall on Tuesday 8 August 2017. The two singers will perform alongside the Stellenbosch University Jazz Band, under the conductorship of Felicia Lesch, lecturer at the Stellenbosch University Department of Music.

“It’s a women’s day celebration, it’s everything that I absolutely love and everything that I stand for,” says Matshingana about what the concert means to her. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate where I’ve come from as a women, where I’ve come from as a musician and also as a person, just where I come from in my heart.”

Matshingana is excited and honoured to be sharing the stage with a legend. “The last time I actually saw her [Gloria Bosman] was here in Stellenbosch. She was going to perform with the [SU Jazz Band] at Oude Libertas, but I wasn’t singing so I just sat in the rehearsal googly-eyed, watching this amazing person. Little did I know that three years later I would be the one performing with her.”

Lesch, who put the concert together, explained her thinking behind the combination of Bosman and Matshingana. “I’ve known Gloria for a long time, and she is evolving, she is in the next phase where she is singing what she wants. I’m also in the next phase, and so is Mihi.”

Lesch says that she recently saw Matshingana perform after a few years and was absolutely stunned by her growth. “And so I just wondered, what would be the synergy of these two women, who can both express so powerfully.”

Matshingana completed a BCom degree at SU in 2014, during which time she also studied in the Music Department’s Certificate Programme, where Lesch was one of her lecturers. She is currently a third-year Jazz Studies student at Wits University.

“It’s like coming full circle,” says Matshingana. “I’m coming back to the place where I was three years ago, but now as an artist… Stellenbosch has prepared me and played a vital role in making me who I am today.”

The concert will include an original composition written by Matshingana. It is titled “You already are” and she explains that it is a song about self-realisation.

“Everything that you dream to be, you already are, time just needs to catch up to where your dreams are. So people may look at you and say that you are small, but they can’t see that because you’re still a seed, but a seed is a tree, just not yet,” says Matshingana. – Aidan Jones
Get your tickets to the concert here:

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