Thandiswa Mazwai brings back her show 'A Letter to Azania'

After 6 award-winning albums with Bongo Maffin, King Tha went on to curved out her own space in history by producing her own unique and award-winning solo albums.

Award-winning singer-songwriter Thandiswa Mazwai aka King Tha. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Award-winning singer-songwriter Thandiswa Mazwai, aka King Tha, is bringing back her previously sold-out show A Letter to Azania.

And this time it will be held at the South African State Theatre in Pretoria on 25 February at 7pm.

For over 20 years Mazwai has been something of a force of nature on the South African music scene.

Her career started in 1995 with Bongo Maffin, whose music captured a particular pan-African and the hopefulness of the early days of the post-apartheid era and went to become one of the pioneering bands of the Kwaito era.

After six award-winning albums with Bongo Maffin, King Tha went on to carve out her own space in history by producing her own unique and award-winning solo albums.

A Letter to Azania is a music special by musician and cultural figure Thandiswa Mazwai.

It tracks a letter that the singer is writing to “Azania” as a place of freedom and takes the audience on a sonic exploration of the utopian idea of Azania while expressing the melancholy that comes with a dream deferred.

Centring love, the show opens with the words of revolutionary Ché Guevara, “the revolution is driven by great feelings of love” and Mazwai adds “a love for the people, a love for country, and a love for justice.”

She will be presenting a selection of songs that have influenced her over the last two decades over a variety of genres from jazz to funk, reggae and gospel music, mixing her own work with some of those by her favourite musicians.

The artist uses her music to create new worlds and calls us all to awaken our imagination and remember the teachings of old as we forge a new world.

A Letter to Azania, will give audiences a glimpse into the intimate details of Mazwai's childhood and her search for Azania and what that has come to mean to her.

In this audiovisual experience curated by Mazwai in partnership with the South African State Theatre, the audience can time travel to a range sounds that have influenced Thandiswa’s recordings and performances over the years: jazz, kwaito, afro-funk, reggae, gospel and traditional music.

There will be songs from her own albums, such as Nizalwa Ngobani, Transkei Moon, Ingoma, Jikijela, and renditions of tracks by some of her favourite musicians.

Mazwai has performed all over the world at venues including the FIFA 2010 World Cup Opening Ceremony, the Apollo Theatre, Radio City Hall, The Cannes Film Festival, Africa Express, BBC World Music Awards, TED, Afropunk, Carnegie Hall Citywide Festival, among others. She has shared the stage with legends like Salif Keita, Hugh Masekela, Busi Mhlongo, Stevie Wonder, Cesaria Evora, Paul Simon, and many others.

A Letter to Azania is at the South African State Theatre, Pretoria at 7pm on 25 February. Tickets can be found here.