Music is her medium for shaping awareness



Published Jun 5, 2024


Durban — After witnessing a cultural drought in society, Dr Nomdakazana Dlamini – born and bred in the Eastern Cape – decided to address that through art.

Dlamini is an international Afro-Jazz artist with four awards to her name. She is also an ambassador for the Mzansi Cultural Exchange and the founder of the Mzansi Traditional and Cultural Music Awards.

She said the plight of women in society inspired her to become a cultural ambassador who uses music as a medium to create awareness.

“With the rising statistics of women abuse and drop in cultural norms and values, I felt music was the only way of communication that could create awareness for people,” Dlamini said.

For the youth to understand and appreciate culture, Dlamini recommended that there be more cultural ambassadors in society.

“Children from rural areas understand culture, the challenge we have is that children from metropolitan areas don’t have that privilege to learn about culture.

“I believe the more activities and cultural awareness we can do the more it will indeed improve what the K2s (those born after the year 2000) can learn.

“It is without a doubt that as we develop we are becoming more Westernised, so we need more cultural ambassadors to play that role.”

Dr Nomdakazana Dlamini, international Afro-Jazz artist and cultural ambassador. | Supplied

Dlamini said the challenges she has faced in her career included sexual harassment from booking agents as far as not even getting booked, sabotage by her fellow artists, and not being celebrated by her province.

“I have represented South Africa in various countries fighting against women abuse and doing a cultural exchange with artists from Japan, the US, France, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast and other countries. At home I have shared stages with only the giants like Big Zulu, Late Zahara, Nathi Mankayi, Ihhashi Elimhlophe, the list is endless,” she said.

Recently Dlamini was invited by Noluthando Mayende-Malepe, the ambassador of the South African embassy in Tanzania on May 30.

“The invitation was to represent South Africa in Tanzania as they celebrated South Africa’s 30 years of democracy.

“It is without a doubt that Tanzania harboured our freedom fighters during the Struggle and that created strong ties between the two countries,” she said.

The major challenge women face in culture is a lack of respect, Dlamini pointed out.

“As imbokodo, we don’t get the respect we deserve. We are still oppressed in terms of opportunities, our pleas go unheard, and women are seen as sex objects by those dominating the industry.

“South Africa is a very beautiful country, we need to embrace it and do our best to return to our roots for it is such a blessed country with cultural diversity,” Dlamini said.

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