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Thandiswa Mazwai taking ‘A Letter To Azania’ to Durban Playhouse

Thandiswa Mazwai. Picture: Arthur Dlamini

Thandiswa Mazwai. Picture: Arthur Dlamini

Published Mar 16, 2022

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After two years of visual shows due to the pandemic, the world of live performance is finally getting back on its feet again.

Thandiswa Mazwai says she’s missed being on stage and interacting with her fans as she heads to KwaZulu-Natal for another instalment of her musical showcase “A Letter to Azania”.

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“I have missed the experience of being on stage. I look forward to celebrating and sharing with all the children of the soil.

This Durban edition of “A Letter to Azania” comes after a successful run at the State Theatre, Pretoria, a few weeks ago.

Four years since its launch, “A Letter to Azania” continues to serve a powerful message of love, “a love for the people, a love for country, and a love for justice”.

“Loss is a huge part of what I do. Having grown up without a mother, I am obsessed with finding healing through my music. My music in many ways is a token of my love for my mother, Belede Mazwai,” said Mazwai.

“The show is a continuous exploration of this longing for a utopian Azania. I have been ‘writing’ this letter since I was a child dreaming of freedom in Azania.”

In this audiovisual experience curated by Mazwai in partnership with the Durban Playhouse, fans can expect a range of sounds that have influenced the singer’s musical journey.

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Some of the issues she addresses through her music include African spirituality, culture and issues of politics.

“I am an African who grew up under a violent apartheid system. Freedom has been at the centre of my existence. The freedom to be my authentic self, mind, body and spirit. I can therefore not make any work that does not centre this in one way or another.”

Asked about a national tour of “A Letter To Azania” after the Durban run, she said: “Yes, we hope to do that but, to be honest, South Africa has a huge deficit of live music venues.

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“We need more and more spaces that have their own inbuilt sound and stage so that artists don’t have to spend extra money to hire this equipment.”

Asked what was in the pipeline for the rest of the year, Mazwai said: “I am working on an album and planning tours in the US and Europe for summer in the northern hemisphere. I am also still working on my huge archival exhibition.”

Speaking of international tours, Mazwai is set to perform at the iconic Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York, alongside Grammy-nominated vocalist Somi.

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Somi is launching her new album “Zenzile: The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba” this Saturday, March 19.

In her recent Instagram post Mazwai shares: “I’m so excited to be one of the special guests at the launch of my sister @somimusic new album at the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem.

“I haven’t played the @apollotheater in over a decade so I look forward to walking the stage again.

“Last time I was there I did a show with the iThree queens and the now late poet Ntozakhe Shange. It was a magical night. Can’t wait to create new memories with udadewethu (my sister) uSomi …”

“A Letter to Azania” by Thandiswa Mazwai is at the Durban Playhouse on Saturday, March 26.

Tickets are available at Webtickets from R275.

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