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Sjava. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

This Clip of Sjava Bringing Out His Mother on Stage Will Make You Shed a Thug Tear

This is beyond heartwarming.

Sjava posted a clip of himself during a performance yesterday. In the clip, the B.E.T winning artist is flanked by his mother as he makes the crowd sing along to his hit collaboration with Mlindo The Vocalist "Egoli."


On "Egoli," Sjava speaks directly to his mother, telling her that he won't sleep at home tonight as he is headed to the City of Gold to make a name for himself and make money to build her a house.

Mlindo The Vocalist - Egoli ft. Sjava www.youtube.com

What will bring tears to your eyes is when Sjava lets the crowd know that he was desperate, riding on hope, when he recorded "Egoli" a few years ago. He thanks his fans and introduces his mother to the excited crowd.

Just before she leaves the stage, she belts out Sjava's tune "Baba" from the artist's 2016 debut album Isina Muva.

Sjava - Baba (Feat. Saudi)🔥🔥 www.youtube.com

Sjava and his mother have come a long way. She used to sell food at the taxi rank in Malvern, Johannesburg, as a result Sjava grew up around the taxi rank (peep the video for "Abangani"). And the artist always sings about taking care of her now that he has the means. Sjava's family makes up a huge part of his story as told in his music, especially on Isina Muva.

Grab a box of tissue and watch the full clip below, and be sure to grab a copy of Sjava's latest album Umqhele here.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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