Tshwane-born and bred Sindiswa Seakhoais a songwriter, composer, guitarist and singer who broke into the musical scene with her debut album, Tata, which she launched at the UNESCO-endorsed inaugural International Jazz Day celebration on 30th April 2015, at the South African State Theatre, Tshwane.
In 2016 she released her second album, “Nanku’ Nomvula”, launched on the 21st May 2016 at Winnie’s Soul and Jazz Restaurant, sharing stage with South Africa’s National Poet Laureate – Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile – with the guests of honour being former President Kgalema Motlanthe and his wife, Ms Gugu Motlanthe..
She has appeared and performed at a number of iconic events, including the Khulechi Dialogue International Women’s Day Breakfast; 4thChinua Achebe Annual Colloquia at Brown University, Rhode Island, USA; the Hugh Masekela Annual Lecture, International University of East Africa, Kampala, Uganda;Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History, Tshwane,South Africa, where she featured the internationally-acclaimed musician, Vusi Mahlasela, accompanied in dialogue by anti-apartheid struggle veterans Commanders Fanele Mbali and Tsietsi Mokhele and Commissar TT Cholo;Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday celebrations, Nelson Mandela Foundation, Houghton, Johannesburg; Africa Meets Africa, Africa Day, at the Mazisi Kunene Literary Museum, eThekwini/Durban, KwaZulu Natal, sharing stage with legendary musician Madala Kunene and storyteller par excellence, Gcina Mhlophe; and the launch of Women Empowerment Advisory Committee, organised by the Department of Public Works.
Sindiswa Seakhoa’s singing and music had been described as welcome and nostalgic reminders of the lost sounds of Sophiatown, of shebeen queens and multi-ethnic communities living shared experiences in a gone-by epoch. They attempt to position Sindiswa’s lyricism, delivery and musical arrangement to an era when a song carried a message and Africans had a natural rhythm that captivated the whole world, like those folk-tipped songs that remind a listener of the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape, spruced with colourful homesteads and livestock.
She displays both her vocal prowess and guitar playing with mild riffs in her songs, complimented by her strong lyrics which give a sense of what Bob Marley called ‘Redemption Songs’; those that are void of ego and seem to have been written by a community for its rituals and ceremonies.Isililoselizwe is one such song and chronicles conflict zones around the world; from Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Europe, America,etc and asks the question ‘why’. Sindiswa sings, “Afrikayintonina/Amerika yintonina/Asia/Europe yintoninaa? Kutheninaanibulalanaokwezilo”. She goes on to beg the Almighty Lord to descend the Holy Spiritto heal the world.
The other songs include Molweni, Ndibuyili,Tata (Ndiykukhumbula, a tribute to her late father), Isililoselizwe, Khulumani –a campaign against female genital mutilation; in Watheth’uAchebe,she pays homage to this departed giant of African literature and sage.In “I am Beautiful”, she oozes self-love which makes her declare, ‘I am beautiful,I need no validation’. Thank You Glasgow is a token of appreciation for Scotland’s support for the Anti-Apartheid Movement; and Nanku’ Nomvula – a response to singer Nathi Mankayi’s love song, “Nomvula’.
Though relatively new to the South African music scene, Sindiswa has always been an all-around artist; dabbling in various disciplines such as playwriting, acting, poetry and other forms of literature. In addition to winning the 1998 FNB Vita Award for the Most Outstanding Production with her debut play,The Pain, which went on to have a successful run at the WindybrowTheatre the same year, Sindiswa’s second play,Thespian, was part of the Young Writers’ Festival at the Market Theatre in 2001.
She has also acted in many productions, including Black Age, by Selaelo Maredi; Cabbages and Bullets, by Jonny Loate, The Transistor Radio and the Wheel,by the late Nigerian author and playwright, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Bessie Head’s Maru, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. She has also done professional script readings and adjudication for community theatre. She also appeared on television series Soul City and the Missing Link.
She is the founder owner and director of her record label, Kayamina Music, as well as the Executive Accounts Director at the wRite associates, a one-stop events & project management company that conceptualises, develops, implements and supports highly effective project and event management strategies, within – but not limited to – the arts, culture and heritage realm.