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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
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South African Filmmaker Carmen Sangion Unpacks Her Short Film 'Uncertainty'

Uncertainty, a film about a couple's emotional battles during lockdown, forms part of the global nine-chapter anthology project titled One(Nine).

During the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, nine filmmakers isolating in various parts of the world came together for a collective experiment. The global team of female filmmakers worked on short films which formed part of the anthology One(Nine), a nine-chapter project of perspectives and experiences — real, unreal, fiction, non-fiction and everything in between.

The team included Canada's Ingrid Veninger, Mina Shum, Isa Benn and Slater Jewell-Kemker, as well as Dorothee Wenner (Germany), Shengze Zhu (China/USA), Carmen Sangion (South Africa) and Lydia Zimmermann (Spain). One(Nine) premiered digitally at Canada's Female Eye Film Festival that ran from March 12to 29.

For this piece, South Africa's Carmen Sangion dissects Uncertainty, a film which interrogates Black men's vulnerability and mental health struggles through the lens of one couple's relationship battles during lockdown.

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