Why should I be Tsonga only on occasion?, says Sho Madjozi


Sho Madjozi has become well known by remaining true to her culture, and is determined to continue shining the light on her “marginalised” Tsonga culture.

The young rapper, who has claimed her space in the industry as the Tsonga cool kid, revealed to TshisaLIVE that she carries on with her life unapologetically and doesn’t plan to change anything despite of the external influences.

“On a global scale, all African cultures have really been overlooked. At best, we’ve just been simply mimicked and copied. Our stories are then taken for other people to make money and make a living from that. Then the African artist gets erased from the story. We are tired of that. We need to be central to stories that are about us.”

The Dumi hi Phone hitmaker clarified that having lived in countries such as Senegal and Tanzania exposed her to people who don’t wear traditional gear every now and then, yet lived their traditions day by day.

“I saw Africans living day-to-day in an African way. Senegalese people don’t dress up in their traditional gear for weddings or heritage day. They dress that way because that is who they are. So why must I be Tsonga only on special occasions? So I asked myself, if I am Tsonga only on occasion, who am I the rest of the time? That’s when I decided to incorporate my culture into everything I do. That’s how it actually should be.”

The rapper, who burst onto the scene on Okmalumkoolkat’s song Gqi, has now joined forces with Absolut’s One Source Live concert as a way to share her stance on African creativity.

The campaign looks to unite leading African creatives of various fields for a spectacular all day live event with multiple stages, performances and collaborations geared at “re-writing Africa’s story”.

In the campaign, Madjozi plays a fictional African superhero based on the real life rain queen of the Modjadji clan in Limpopo.

“The rain queen I play is not Modjadji because the one I play is her own person. She has been adapted to be a superhero and is an urban version. But what all this points to is that the story of the rain queen has to be told and the Balobedu people (a tribe in Limpopo) are one of the people that have traditionally been left out of the African narrative.”

“I found it important to keep saying to young Africans that is is cool to be Tsonga and to be African. What I try to do is live like an African uninterrupted. I want to live like a young person would if Africa had been allowed to develop by itself without stuff like apartheid or colonialism.”

Sho Madjozi will be joined by artists such as Khuli Chana, Bongo Muffin, Patoranking and others to bring African creativity to life on Saturday, March 24 at 1 Eloff Precinct downtown Joburg.

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