|One of the country’s most diverse musicians is undoubtedly Tlokwe Sehume.
His music is spiritual with a thrust on African indigenous music and instruments with a contemporary feel.
He says of his music “its music of the day before yesterday for a people of the day after tomorrow”.
He calls his music , ‘Mmino wa thaba’—Music of the mountains.
Tlokwe has a long-term project through his organization Medu Promotions, which he calls Medu-Nakeng , which aims to homogenise music of the different ethnic groupings of South Africa , and this project is underpinned and informed by research,for promotion and preservation of indigenous ethnic cultures.
Medu-Nakeng was performed in March 2003 to an enthusiastic audience , the follow up thereof was in September 2004 where the attendances had grown . The 2005 performance is in October from the 5th – 8th.
A perfectionist by nature, his work reaches out to the top end of any market – a world-music aficionados dream, spiritual and meaty to the very last drum beat.
Composer, arranger, producer , poet, and vocalist, Tlokwe combines his musical skills with the natural talent that is showcased through his playing of a myriad of classical and contemporary instruments, mostly indigenous . Tlokwe is adept at playing dipela (mbira), lekope (setorotoro), mvet, meropa ya Afrika, percussion, guitar, flute and keyboards – all instrumental in bringing his socially aware messages to life , through song.
Influences for Tlokwe’s work all stem from the rich land that is Africa – music of Bapedi with West African influences with a selection of dialects including Sepedi, isiZulu, isiTsonga, Sesotho, isiNdebele and ki-Swahili. Always an artist with a bold approach, Tlokwe is not afraid to address political and social topics through his music, confronting the oppressors and guiding people toward more enlightened opinions. His first two albums spawned hits that reached the very core of mankind – songs with handsome depth and flowing rhythms.
A brief history:
- Tlokwe grew up in Pretoria and studied Musicology at university.
- Tlokwe has performed and collaborated with some of the countries top musicians, including Vusi Mahlasela, Pops Mohamed, McCoy Mrubata, Zim Mgqawana and Hugh Masekela.
- His first album, Naga Ya Fsa won the SAMA Award for Best Pedi Album in 2001 and he received a further two nominations for his second album Ba Utlwile.
- His third album a collection of live performances is called Mmino wa thaba, which is also the name of the genre of music he makes
- He has toured India, Cameroon, Hungary, France and Germany , performing.
- The Moses Taiwa Molelekwa Arts Foundation invited Sehume to give a lecture on the mvet , a Cameroonian chordophone, which he plays.
- Tlokwe was also invited by UNISA to do a performance on indigenous African instruments when it was hosting an Indigenous Knowledge Systems Conference in September 2003.
- He has an 11piece backing band , which he calls Medu , but he is able to perform with a smaller ensemble like a quartet ,from his backing band Medu.
- Tlokwe performed at the Villa CeliMontana Jazz Festival in Italy recently , in a line up that included Miriam Makeba , Mankunku Ngozi , Marcus Wyatt, Tucan Tucan and others. This was the South African week in the three months long festival , where South African music was showcased.
- Tlokwe does workshops around the country through his Medu Promotions educating and empowering potential musicians about indigenous music instruments craftsmanship and highlighting the importance of intellectual property.
- Still through Medu Promotions Sehume does research into South African indigenous ethnic music of the different cultures.
- A new album is in the offing , where Tlokwe is playing mostly acoustic instruments like mbira , mvet , meropa ya Afrika.
|Naga Ya Fsa|
|Mmino Wa Thaba|