After an absence of more than 30 years, South African music legend
Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse and his band,
return to the Baxter Concert Hall,
for a one-night only celebration,
on Friday, 26 October, at 8pm.
As one of South Africa’s stateliest musical treasures who loves his country as much as he does performing live, Sipho promises Cape Town a show well worth the wait. “I can’t believe where the time has gone,” says Mabuse, whom we have come to love for hit songs like Burn Out and Shikisha.
He continues, “The Baxter holds many fond memories for me. We would like honour this iconic venue with a stunning once-off show, pulling out all the stops by playing all the hits and throwing in a few surprises along the way.”
Hot on the heels of his keynote address at Music Exchange 2018 (MEX18) conference, earlier this month, Sipho’s promise to return to the Mother City for a full concert is about to be honoured, much to the excitement of fans across the peninsula.
Sipho has also selected three artists from the MEX18 conference, to be showcased on the line-up. They are singer and songwriter Roeshdien Jaz, Siphokazi Jonas and Afro-fusion band Mmino who regularly perform at the V&A Waterfront.
“Look at Siphokazi Jonas,” Sipho says. “Four years ago she performed at Music Exchange and today she is working full-time in the entertainment industry. Roeshdien has enjoyed a string of radio hits and he is now ready to draw larger audience. Mmino is an amazing band that had such fresh ideas musically and now also deserve to be seen by a wider audience. I want to give these immensely talented Cape Town artists a chance and in this way help to build and support the next generation of artists in our country,”
In April this year Sipho was welcomed by the President who bestowed him with the Silver Order of Ikhamanga, for his contribution to music. In June he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 13th Annual South African Traditional Music Achievements Awards (SATMA), held in Mpumalanga.
In 2015 Sipho celebrated his golden anniversary in music – 50 years of his unwavering commitment and contribution to South African music and education and he also appointed as the chairman of the non-profit organization, Music Exchange.
Thirty-four years ago, Sipho’s 500 000-selling smash-hit single, Burn Out, changed the face and shape of Afro-pop and township jive, like no other song or artist in pop music history.
He is an integral part of the entertainment industry and his contribution to the diverse landscape of South Africa is appreciated and honoured by music lovers the world over.
His nickname “Hotstix” has stayed with him since he was eight years old and already displayed talent as a drummer. There are few instruments that he cannot play but flute, piano, saxophone, kalimba, alto flute, timbales and African drums all feature at some point in his repertoire.
A quick Google search brings up names like The Beaters, Sipho’s first band, that later evolved to become Harari, one of the most successful acts to dominate the music scene in the 70s in South Africa. They became widely regarded as the ultimate party band and one of the country’s most important musical acts until the band split up in 1982. Sipho continues to create original South African music as a respected solo artist.
Throughout his 54-year career, Sipho has become a musical ambassador for South Africa, performing in virtually every African country on the continent, as well as the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy.
He has also recorded and produced many legendary artists like Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri and Sibongile Khumalo. As a regular commentator on arts and culture in the country, Sipho has also served on the boards of the National Arts Council and the South African Musicians Rights Organisation (SAMRO).
“With an impressive catalogue that’s anchored in Africa, all who meet, greet and share stages with Sipho are all touched by a humility and grace that’s as rare as the talent this living legend shares with us all today,” says Martin Myers, manager and friend.
Tickets to see this once-off performance of Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse at the Baxter Concert Hall, range between R200 and R250, and can be bought from Webtickets online http://www.webtickets.co.za, or at selected Pick n Pay stores. Show starts at 8pm.
There will be CDs and posters on sale, before and after the performance, as well as a signing session with Sipho immediately after the show.
Selected Career Highlights – Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse
2005 – SAMA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
2008 – 46664 Ambassador – performed in London’s Hyde Park
2009 – 46664 Ambassador – performed at New York’s Radio City Music Hall
2018 – Silver Order of Ikhamanga for his contribution to the field of music
2018 – Lifetime Achievement Award at the 13th Annual South African Traditional Music Achievements Awards (SATMA)
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Just last month, Mabuse was honoured by President Ramaphosa and received a national order. The citation, Order of Ikhamanga in Silver, read, “for his contribution to the field of music and social cohesion. His spellbinding music has consistently captured the imagination of the nation.”
Some of his plans for later in the year include a major show in Soweto, along with speaking at Music Exchange in September in Cape Town and a once-off event at the Baxter Concert Hall in October – no burnout for Hotstix. I spoke to him last week.
When children call me daddy, especially in Soweto.
When I forget the lyrics to a song.
Sol Kerzner, a brilliant creative mind (Lost City one of the wonders of the world, created by a human being).
An old South African rand (the one rand and note) signed by the late President Nelson Mandela on his release from prison.
Martini and lemonade.
Any desert festival.
A hospital porter.
Insecure, purposeful, magnanimous, amorous, loving, and sensitive.
These are songs that have influenced my thinking and what I do as an artist.
Beatles – Norwegian Wood – first song I learnt to play in the Beaters, my first band.
Bob Marley – Jonny Was.
Babsi Mhlangani – Sala Emma.
Johnny Clegg – Scaterlings of Africa.
West Nkosi – Two Mabone – that song influenced me to make Jive Soweto and Shikisha.
Norwegian Wood and Burnout. Burnout has given me a life one can only dream of. The song is bigger than me, South Africa loves that song; it is humbling.
I would love to go to Cuba and play a show.
Passing matric at 60.
Unreliable partnerships and apathy.
Get nervous and intense.
Somewhere over the rainbow.
Sipho Hotstix Mabuse VS Strange Loving – BURNOUT
STRANGE LOVING Revives Popular Gallo Classic!
STRANGE LOVING and Gallo Record Company have released a brand new single – a rework of Sipho Hotstix Mabuse’s classic ‘Burnout’ which became one of the first major crossover hits in South Africa in the early 1980s, selling more than 500 000 copies.
A spur of the moment idea, sparked by a friend who thought it would be a great idea to revive an old classic from the past, STRANGE LOVING was inspired by the 90s Daft Punk method of production to rework this 80s release into a silky offering with a hint of seductive flavour.
Instead of Re-editing the track by using the exact sampling from the original 30 year old record, STRANGE LOVING added some fresh percussion and hats as well as their signature bassline which shines through in the end result.
Featuring their own edgy mass appeal style heard on previous STRANGE LOVING radio singles, at first they were not expecting Hotstix and management to approve their version, but were delighted when he and his manager did.
Hotstix comments “I am delighted with the remix as it keeps the essence of the song alive and this mix has a really good feel about it . Hopefully people will go and explore other songs I have done over my career”
“Anyone and everyone who is a lover of classic South African music would be able to identify with our version of BURNOUT, and hopefully our release of it as official single starts a revival of this old classic for today’s youth!”- Strange Loving
In 1985, a hot new single was pumping in most clubs, house parties and cars. Whenever Burn Out played, people would stomp to the dance floor. Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse became known as the hottest musician in South Africa.
The music, which fused township pop, traditional mbaqanga groove and the disco of the era, was a powerful step in bringing young white people to African popular music.
Mabuse regards the 1985 Concert in the Park at Ellis Park to be a significant highlight of his career. This event brought 22 of the most popular bands of all genres and races around South Africa to Ellis Park and packed the venue out with 125 000 people of all races. Juluka was the headline act and the only mixed race band to perform. Mabuse performed with Harari – a pioneering afro-rock band.
From the Beaters to Harari
Mabuse was born on 2 November 1951 in Masakeng (Shantytown), Orlando West, a bedrock of political resistance. A traditional healer from Lesotho lived opposite his home where he first heard the drums. Mabuse said, “This is where I got the feel of the drum. It was more of a spiritual influence than an academic influence.”
In high school in Orlando West, Mabuse became a drummer for the cadets. Guitar player Selby Ntuli spotted his talent and invited him to form a band with his fellow scholars, bass player Alec Khaoli and guitarist Monty Ndimande (Saitana.) In June 1966 The Beaters were formed, the name inspired by The Beatles. They performed all over Soweto at high-schools and matric dances.
“The media picked up on that.” Mabuse fondly recalls, “the brat pack of the era – Aggrey Klaaste, Percy Khoza – were fascinated that these youngsters were coming out of high-school and playing pop music.” The soul sound of the Beaters travelled widely. By 1969, at the height of apartheid, The Beaters were the first black South Africans to fly domestically, when they toured Durban. In 1976 they performed for three months in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Outside SA, The Beaters were exposed to and strongly influenced by modern African sounds in the form of Zairian (Congolese) music. The Beaters transformed into a pan-African rock-funk ensemble with a strong concept of Black Consciousness. They changed their name to Harari, after a township near Salisbury, Rhodesia.
Harari founder and band leader Selby Ntuli died in 1978 during a failed tour in America undertaken on the invitation of Hugh Masekela. Mabuse took over and transformed the band into a registered business and collaborative ensemble. He was given his moniker “Hotstix” at this time, after a particularly inspired drum solo. Harari was the first black pop group on SA TV and they entered the American Disco Charts in 1982 with the single Party. However, despite the commercial success, conflict over money and leadership sent the band members in separate, solo directions.
Some of the highlights Mabuse recalls from his more than 50 years in the music industry, include the 46664 concerts in London and New York, and the Southern African tour with Eric Clapton that took them to Swaziland and Namibia for Independence celebrations and Mozambique for the peace accord.
He says: “The most important part is being able to do what I do and bring joy to people who come to support and watch me perform.”
In 2012, just before his 62nd birthday, Mabuse went to Thaba Jabula High School in Klipspruit to study and complete his matric examinations, a move that earned praise from President Jacob Zuma. Mabuse has since enrolled at Unisa to study anthropology.
In October 2016, two weeks short of his 65th birthday, Mabuse travelled to the Maputo Morejazz festival to receive recognition for his 50 years of performing and recording achievements in the South African music industry. He performed Burn Out alongside Judith Sephuma and Moreira Chonguica.
Mabuse met with students at the University Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo and emphasised the importance of reading. “Let us all begin to go back to books. Forget about your economics subjects that you think are going to make money for you, there is education beyond that. And then you begin to understand how important the cultural values and the music you listen to, plays in what you do,” he said.
Outspoken on the issues of leadership and the wisdom economy, Mabuse said: “I have always considered artists as creators of the wisdom economy. Arts and music speak to the soul and heartbeat of the country.”
Mabuse is committed to upliftment through music. He’s received extended recognition in South Africa, has sat on the boards of The National Arts Council and the South African Musicians Rights Organisation and received a SAMA lifetime achievement award. He is also chairperson of the annual Music Exchange Conference in Cape Town. Music Exchange brings presenters from the music industry together with young musicians to share their knowledge and experience. “It is simple,” says Mabuse. “Success is a product of hard work and dedication. And don’t believe the hype because when the phone stops ringing, what next?”
Today he’s in the early stages of writing his memoir with his manager Martin Myers. They’re working on concepts to piece together this legendary story and promote it. Their plans include touring the smaller South Africa towns, such as Queenstown, Caledon and Franschoek – places Mabuse’s never played in. They’re also planning a free show for the people of Soweto, where Mabuse has lived all his life, to thank them for their support.