SINCE August is Women’s Month, KwaZulu-Natal will host the gifted female jazz vocalist, Mimi with performances at the KZNSA Gallery on Friday, at the Tatham Gallery in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday and at the Rainbow Restaurant in Pinetown on Sunday.

Hailing from Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, the jazz vocalist, composer and lyricist found her natural niche and pursued her music education through UCT where she completed her jazz performance degree.

But it all began in church where she developed the confidence to sing to an audience.

Mimi shared her story with Tonight. “In church… that’s where I learnt how to hold a mike and be on stage. That was my first introduction.”

The singer says her sound has a lot of influences.

“I call it a musical cocktail because it fuses Latin, African and jazz. Music is so beautiful because of the different cultures we have. We have Maskandi music which we’ve taken and matched with the jazz sound. In terms of Latin, I love the feel of the rhythm and the influences you get from it. You can’t listen to people and music and not be moved by it.”

Mimi has had a lot going for her over the years and has earned many accolades. She has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the music industry – Sibongile Khumalo, Judith Sephuma, Themba Mkhize, Rita Marley, Joe McBride and Lauryn Hill. Besides playing at the Grahamstown Music Festival, Mimi has also performed at President Jacob Zuma’s charity dinner, MTN’s opening and closing ceremonies at the World Cup in 2010 and has won the Best Jazz Album gong at the Metro FM Music Awards in 2008.

Shedding light on her upcoming performances in KZN which is supported by Concerts SA, Mimi says she feels honoured to be a part of the Women’s Month celebrations. “I’m so excited and feel humble to be there and share my music. We must use this as a platform to inspire and spread messages and share love and warmth. We need this in terms of what’s going on in the world. It’s good that we inspire each other and share.”

As for the singer’s debut album, The Essence of My Soul, she says it’s a reflection of who she is and she wants to share it with the world. “It demonstrates the stories in my life and the experiences I’ve gone through.

“I talk about love, not necessarily from one spouse to another but love in general, love for our country and for your women.

“I also speak about rape and community issues. In one of my tracks, I speak of the continent. As Africans, we need to stand together so we can go forward. It’s about the issues that are close to my heart.”

During her KZN tour, she’ll also be engaged in two community programmes – a workshop at Msunduzi Music School and a performance for pupils from northern KZN at the Luthuli Museum in Groutville where the band/quartet will share their instrument skills with the kids.

Mimi is now working on her second album which will be previewed on her KZN Tour. She says audiences can expect an up-close and personal performance.

• Catch Mimi on Friday at the KZNSA Gallery; on Saturday at Tatham Gallery in Pietermaritzburg and at the Rainbow Restaurant in Pinetown on Sunday.