While the generation of women her age focus on either Hip Hop or House music, Nelisiwe Sibiya, a young, glamorous woman with an amazing voice, chooses Maskandi over everything.
The 25 year old who is a Music Theatre student at the Tshwane University of Technology, said wherever she performs, people compare her music to a breath of fresh air.
Her love for traditional music comes as a surprise to many. This is greatly owed to the stereotype that Maskandi artists lack a cosmopolitan fashion sense .
“In most events, people look at me and think I’ll sing the most common music people my age sing and I surprise them with my Maskandi. This type of genre makes me proud of who I am. It is continuously passed on to each and every generation of the Zulu nation.”
The multi-talented singer gives credit to social media (especially Instagram) as it played a huge role in getting her music to reach the masses – this includes recognition from prominent music producers.
“I usually post my videos on Instagram, singing Maskandi. Mandla Ngcongwane (from BlackBrain) then discovered me through it and I got more recognition after I had done a soundtrack for their company, and the song was played on the Mzansi Magic drama, Lockdown,” said Sibiya.
In addition to her talent capturing the attention of Mandla N, it has also attracted the interest of music veterans, Mbongeni Ngema and Lindelani Mkhize.
Sibiya is currently in the books of both these producers. Under Lindelani Mkhize, she works as one of the artists on the music concert, IGNITE. Subsequently, she is one of the performing artists on the legendary stage production, Sarafina The Musical, under Mbongeni Ngema.
Part of her music journey includes working with well-known artists like Donald, Vusi Nova, Jaziel Brothers, HHP and also being a part of Oupa Sithelas’ Giya Africa.
The Nduma Ndumane hit-maker sets her eyes on her goal of becoming a recording artists and releasing an album of her own.
— nelisiwe_phaith_sibi (@nelisiwe_sibiya) June 7, 2017
“My goal in the music industry is to be a recording artist. Even though I am a versatile artist and classically trained to perform any kind of genre, I’ve decided to stick to Maskandi or uMbhaqanga sounds because it describes my identity” she said. She also added that as a performing arts student, she will not only do music, but also venture into presenting and acting.
As an African, Sibiya believes in the folklore of having a home for your parents, even if they have passed on. She cites building a home for her mother and siblings as her biggest achievement to date. “I built a house for my mother, but heavens took her last year. That house became our home since we never had a place called home,” she concluded.