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#aTypicalInterview: PJ Powers on the biggest misconceptions people have about her

By Sameer Naik Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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PJ Powers, affectionately known as “Thandeka”, is an award-winning musician with 12 gold discs, four platinum and a gold CD.

The 59-year-old’s career started in the 1980s when she became the lead singer of Hotline. Her solo career flourished during the 1990s and 2000s with hits such as There is an Answer, Feel So Strong, Jabulani, You’re So Good To Me and the iconic Rugby World Cup song, World in Union.

Her most recent hits include chart-topping singles Destiny, Stay and a rework of There is An Answer, a collaboration with Sfiso Ncwane.

PJ Powers has shared the stage with many local and international stars, among them Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading, Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel, Hugh Masekela, Sibongile Khumalo, Mahotella Queens, Youssou N Dour, Miriam Makeba, Harry Belafonte and more recently The Corrs and Mike and the Mechanics.

She has also performed for Queen Elizabeth of England, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands as well as collaborating with Yvonne Chaka Chaka and M’du Masilela on an international UN music video.

You are able to invite any three guests over for dinner. Which three guests do you choose and why?

Oprah Winfrey. She’d be fun and have loads of interesting stories about the people she’s interviewed.

The Dalai Lama and Bishop Tutu, because they have both found the true meaning of joy.

You are able to listen to only one song for the rest of your life. Which song do you choose?

We are the World. I love the message and wouldn’t get as bored as listening to the same voice over and over. Also loads of my favourite singers are on it.

You are able to go back in time to attend one music concert. Which one do you choose and why?

It’s a toss-up between Michael Jackson or Johnny Clegg - amazing energy from both!

The best and worst thing about the lockdown?

Best thing about lockdown - time.

Worst thing - cooking and eating too much!

The meal that most reminds you of your childhood?

Roast chicken and veg with roast potatoes.

If you had to choose a defining moment in your music career, which would it be?

May 31, 1983, when I sang at Jabulani amphitheatre in Soweto and was given the name “Thandeka”.

Your celebrity crush growing up?

Barbra Streisand.

Do you enjoy using social media? If so, which social media app is your favourite?

Yes, I do enjoy social media. Instagram is my favourite but I have a bigger following on my fan page on Facebook.

What is the biggest misconception people have about PJ Powers?

Biggest misconception is that I am like the Statue of Liberty. I’m one of the most insecure people I know. I work on it daily.

You can take on any South African celebrity in a 12-round boxing match. Who do you choose and why?

Probably Anele (Mdoda) I would just laugh for 12 rounds, she is my favourite when it comes to putting a smile on my face.

The Saturday Star

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