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Listen to Bongeziwe Mabandla’s New Single ‘Jikeleza’

Bongeziwe Mabandla shares new optimistic single.

"Jikeleza" is South African folk musician Bongeziwe Mabandla's latest single. The song, which is sung in IsiXhosa like most of the man's work, speaks on love giving us life.

"It is about our universal need to connect," says Bongeziwe in a press release. "It is about the togetherness in people and about the things that bind us and make us the same."


"Jikeleza" was inspired by the idea of loving one another in a world where there seems to be so little. "Writing the song was a challenge," says the artist. "It took a lot of rewriting and getting feedback from the team, and I wrote many different parts before I got it right. The idea came together when we decided to play around with making each part distinct, with each verse coming from a different place."

As is always the case with Bongeziwe's music, "Jikeleza" blends the tingly traditional folk music guitar with modern contraptions like synths and pads.

"'Jikeleza' has very South African feel but with a mix of a very modern global texture," says the artist. "The song has a playful side to it and while it is probably my most fun single to date, it is also very special as it comes from a real and compassionate place. It is a positive song with a very relevant message in South Africa right now."

The artist also adds that the song was written with a live audience in mind. "I wrote this song for the listener to get involved, and the call and response part is my favorite. I thought a lot about how it would be live and the way an audience would feel and interact at a festival, for example. When I was writing it, I was imagining the live stage version."

Listen to "Jikeleza" below:


Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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