Aus Tebza takes Setswana music to the world stages as she collaborates with Spanish band, Merlettes

Aus Tebza. Picture: Supplied

Aus Tebza. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 19, 2023


Tebogo Sedumedi, better known as Aus Tebza, is venturing into the global music scene as she collaborates with the Spanish band, Merlettes.

This collaboration, which serves as a creation of a unique and culturally rich musical experience, will take place at the WOMAD (World of Music, Arts & Dance) experience at the Market Theatre, Newtown, on September 30.

Aus Tebza has established herself as a songwriter, vocalist, bass guitarist and music director, and this collaboration will allow her to expand her horizons.

The all-female band from New Mexico, US, will be performing a re-imagined version of Aus Tebza’s hit single “Dumelang” on stage, blending elements of Setswana heritage with the Merlettes’ honky-tonk style.

This fusion of their musical styles will introduce audiences to a new and innovative sound, showcasing the diversity and creativity that can arise from cross-cultural collaborations in the world of music.

“This collaboration is a platform to merge these two different styles of music, two unique sounds and two different cultures,” she said.

“The Merlettes don’t know much about South African music as much as I don’t know much about country folk music. We are sharing and showcasing the power of music.

“We’ll be doing one of my songs called ‘Dumelang’ from my latest album. I was listening to their recording as we were rehearsing it, it’s so fascinating to hear people from another continent try to interpret our sound… that's where you actually see the power of culture and tradition.”

The singer emphasised that music is a universal language that transcends cultural boundaries.

“This is an amazing collaboration. ‘Dumelang’ has a dual meaning – it could mean hello, and it could also mean believe. ‘Dumelang’ is a powerful song on its own.

“And being able to sing it and perform it with a Spanish-based band is just mind-blowing. It’s a cultural exchange that will certainly leave a lasting mark not only in South Africa but worldwide.”

In addition to their performance, the group will be conducting music workshops for emerging artists and participating in various cultural exchange programmes.

“We will be conducting a workshop that unpacks ‘being a woman in the music industry’, and I can promise you that we are all going through the same things.

“I’m positive that, whatever they’re gonna be sharing, it’s the same things that we are also going through here in South Africa, as women in music.

“This platform brings together women from different continents, allowing them to communicate and connect through their shared passion: music.”

Aus Tebza is also participating in the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, set to take place at the Sandton International Convention Centre from September 29 to 30.

On Friday, September 29, she will be sharing the stage with Buhlebendalo Mda. She’s excited to be a part of this performance and encourages people to experience Buhlebendalo’s “magic” first-hand.

“I’m looking forward to the Joy of Jazz because I get to support some of the musicians that I have worked with over the years.”

On Saturday, Aus Tebza will be collaborating with Max-Hoba to pay tribute to Jabu Khanyile.

“This tribute is a meaningful way to honour the legacy of an influential figure in the country’s music history.

“It’s not only about supporting Max-Hoba, but also recognising and celebrating the contributions of artists who have left a lasting impact on the industry.”

She had a long-standing desire to perform at the Joy of Jazz Festival and her dream became a reality in 2018.

“My first performance at Joy of Jazz happened in 2018 and I had been wanting to be on that stage for the longest time.”

Her breakthrough came after a performance at Hard Rock Cafe in Sandton. Aus Tebza took the initiative to promote herself on social media platforms by tagging the Joy of Jazz festival in her posts.

The post caught the attention of the festival organisers, leading to her inclusion in subsequent editions of the event.

“Last year, I did the Dinaledi Stage with Wouter Kellerman. I also played with Gloria Bosman, playing tribute to Mama Sibongile Khumalo. It was just amazing.

“And also just having the opportunity to still be part of Joy of Jazz through other peoples productions or music says a lot to me as an artist because that is how I’ve also positioned myself as a musician.

“As much as I’m a brand on my own, I think it’s important to position yourself in a way that you spread your wings, especially if you know you’ve got so much to offer and I love how I am being received in all these spaces.”

For more information and to view the full programme, visit Joy of Jazz. Tickets are available at Computicket.

Visit for more information as well as ticket prices.