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Thesis ZA reminds South Africans to honour the country’s rich history on Youth Day

Thesis ZA, the formidable duo who are the latest addition to the long list of innovators on South Africa’s versatile jazz scene. Picture: Supplied

Thesis ZA, the formidable duo who are the latest addition to the long list of innovators on South Africa’s versatile jazz scene. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 16, 2022

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Ondela Simakuhle and Ayanda Charlie, aka Thesis ZA, started their musical career at university, and now the formidable duo are the latest addition to the long list of innovators on South Africa’s versatile jazz scene.

The vocalists are independent artists with an impressive catalogue and careers that have taken them to play in elite parts of the world, including the ‘Show-Me’ festival in Zurich, Switzerland, and right here at their doorstep at the National Arts Festival.

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Their music is minimalist yet new, exciting, beautiful and truthful.

“We’re independent artists, so our entire product is our responsibility and that can be stressful and overwhelming. But what’s helpful is that we’re doing this together, so we’re able to support one another and share the load.

“We’re also able to show up for one another when the other is struggling. Being a duo has been a gift,” Thesis ZA said.

The pair said aside from the financial woes that came with Covid-19, the downtime also led to a loss of momentum.

“Covid presented financial challenges as we were not able to perform to live audiences. We also lost momentum in terms of getting our name out there and reaching new audiences.

“Now we’re having to find sustainable alternative ways of reaching audiences and generating income.”

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As the pair trek on they look towards various music artists to find inspiration.

“We look up to R&B duo We Are King, Hans Zimmer, Thandiswa Mazwai for her original, authentic, and timeless music as well as Simphiwe Dana’s artistic songwriting,” they said.

Sharing their advice to youngsters they said: “Being self-sufficient and seeking out as much information on the business of the arts goes a long way. Being able to advocate for yourself and your business is important.

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“So learn everything there is to learn about your industry. Empowering yourself with information will protect you and give you the freedom to be creative while also being self-sufficient.”

The pair proudest moment is the completion of their recently debut album “Sondela”.

“Being able to finally complete our debut album to the standard we always intended, and for our supporters to have received it so well is an achievement more rewarding than all our previous accolades.”

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Honouring South Africa’s rich history this Youth Day, the pair urge everyone to take time out to reflect on and celebrate the youth of ’76.

“It’s a significant and important reminder of the need to honour our country’s history and the role of young South Africans in the liberation struggle. We definitely will be.”

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