Thandiswa Mazwai

After a seven-year hiatus, multiple award-winning musician Thandiswa Mazwai has given her fans something to get excited about.

The 40-year-old signed with Universal Music Group (UMG) to release her new album Belede, which will be available from November 25.

She is dedicating it to her late mother, Belede. During her birthday in March when she was working on the album, she spoke to The Star, saying: “I think about my mother a lot around this time.

I realise just how young she was when she died. I still feel very young and I’m learning so much all the time.

Now that the album is done, she said: “Making this album was a sonic delight and I feel blessed to have been able to sing some of these songs and pay tribute to some of the most rebellious and monumental musicians of my time.”Mazwai co-created the album with drummer Ayanda Sikade, pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and bassist Herbie Tsoaeli.“I’ve reimagined these songs for a new space and time.

Even though a lot of these songs were written as rebel music against apartheid, they make sense in South Africa now.

They have the same impact, ask the same questions and evoke the same actions,” Mazwai said about the songs they worked on together.

She added that releasing it with UMG was sentimental.

“Having been in the industry for so long, I’ve known the team here since when I started with Bongo Maffin in 1998, so it’s comfortable.

“I’m happy that Universal Music will make sure that everyone gets to hear the amazing music.”

Universal Music South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa managing director Sipho Dlamini said to Mazwai: “This is such an honour, it has been a pleasure watching you grow into your space and see the ease in which you occupy it.

“We are delighted to participate in your project, Belede, an amazing album. "We wanted to do a deal as soon as we heard it. This is a beautiful reflection of where Thandiswa is in her journey and the message she wants to share with us.”

The album will be available for pre-order on iTunes tomorrow and her first single, Jikijela, can be downloaded on iTunes and Apple Music.Mazwai will launch Belede at the Soweto Theatre on November 24.


Tickets are available from R200 at, and 0861 670 670.


The Star