KZN

News ยป KZN

Andile Sithole
3 minute read
8 May 2021
06:01

Maskandi legend Sipho Mchunu back in the studio

Andile Sithole

The internationally acclaimed Maskandi musician and legend Dr Sipho Mchunu is back in the studio to release a new album titled Iselula (The cellphone).

The internationally acclaimed Maskandi musician and legend Dr Sipho Mchunu is back in the studio to release a new album titled Iselula (The cellphone).

Mchunu returned to music after taking a break from the music industry for 24 years.

Mchunu, who hails from Kranskop outside Greytown in KwaZulu-Natal, said he aims to revive Zulu music and take it to the international community.

Speaking to Weekend Witness, Mchunu promised to return in a new style and with music that is purely Zulu.

The album has 10 Zulu songs and a music video with English subtitles.

Mchunu, together with former Ukhozi FM boss, the late Bhodloza Nzimande and Esther Mahlangu were honoured with doctorates in visual and performing arts at the Durban University of Technology’s Spring graduation on September 7, 2018.

“The album will be out in the next three weeks. I will also release a music video with English subtitles to assist those people who may not be fluent in Zulu.

“I am still trying to recover from Johnny’s death. He played an instrumental role in the music industry. If he was still alive, he would have contributed immensely to my new project.”
Sipho Mchunu

“I have not fully recovered from the loss of my musical partner and friend Johnny Clegg. We worked together during the apartheid regime for many years and released albums together. It is the first time for me to record in studio without his contribution,” he said.

Mchunu said he was inspired by one of the visitors who attended Clegg’s purification ceremony — a ritual that marks the end of the mourning period after a person has died.

He last recorded his album in 1997 with Johnn Clegg titled Yavuka Inkunzi (The Bull has risen).

“I am still trying to recover from Johnny’s death. He played an instrumental role in the music industry. If he was still alive, he would have contributed immensely to my new project. He was a great singer with a big heart. His love for the people was truly amazing. And his mental agility was truly exceptional.

“But perhaps what kept our friendship stronger was the fact that we both shared the same values of Ubuntu.

“I must admit that recording this album without his contribution makes things difficult because I have pulled out all the stops to make the launch of this album a success,” Mchunu said.

READ | Sharing stories and songs

In his new album Mchunu features former members of the Juluka band including Mandisa Dlanga and Khanyo Maphumulo on backing vocals.

Mchunu encouraged young and aspiring artists to be persistent and work hard to achieve their dreams.

He added that he intends to revive the original Maskandi music, which he believes will attract the international community once again.

Mchunu and Clegg met in Johannesburg in 1969 while Mchunu was singing Maskandi and playing a guitar.

Clegg was known for being a white person who was a staunch believer in the Zulu culture and traditions.

Mchunu said he intends to hold another ceremony to honour Clegg later this year at his home in Kranskop.