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Rising Afro Jazz star Qaqamba Ntshinka inspires listeners to chase their dreams

Qaqamba Ntshinka, Picture: Supplied

Qaqamba Ntshinka, Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 26, 2023


Qaqamba Ntshinka, an aspiring Afro Jazz singer originally from the Eastern Cape, has been making waves in the music industry, captivating audiences with her soulful voice and unique musical style.

Recently nominated for the prestigious Basadi In Music Awards in the Nandos Emerging Artist of the Year category, Ntshinka is quickly becoming a recognized talent in the local music scene.

Hailing from the town of eNgcobo in the Eastern Cape, Qaqamba's journey in music began at a young age when she discovered her passion for singing and performing.

Influenced by the rich cultural heritage of her community, she developed a deep appreciation for Afro Jazz, infusing traditional African rhythms with modern melodies to create her distinctive sound.

Ntshinka started performing at a young age and, ever since, her love for music just grown: ‘’I started singing at church because I am a pastor's kid, but later discovered my love for Afro Jazz Music. I fell in love with this genre and decided to pursue it in 2017.’’

Over the past two years, Ntshinka performed at various platforms and venues in Cape Town, such as Selective Live, Yobo Love, Villa Viva, Trenchtown, Cape Town Stadium, Africa Grand Café V&A Waterfront and Bridges for Music Academy.

‘’I draw inspiration from social ills. Whatever is happening around me and my community, from gender-based violence, mental health, crime, etc. I grew up listening to legends like Mom Miriam Makeba, Tat'uHugh Masekela, Sis Simphiwe Dana and Mom Busi Mhlongo,’’ says Ntshinka.

‘’Their music played a huge role in my craft. From their writing style to their vocals as well. Not only did I relate to them melody-wise, but their lyrical content also made sense to me.

‘’Their music changed the status quo. They made music that spoke and speaks to the heart. Their music spoke of things around us. Their music is relatable. And this made me want to write music that inspires the people around me.’’

In the past two years Ntshinka performed at various platforms and venues in Cape Town, such as Selective Live, Yobo Love, Villa Viva, Trenchtown, Cape Town stadium, Africa Grand Café V&A Waterfront and Bridges for Music Academy. Picture: Supplied

Not only does she possess a soul-stirring voice but she also showcases her remarkable songwriting talents with two standout tracks, ‘’Zizinja’’ and ‘’Ingase Uyazi’’.

She explains that one of her most inspiring pieces, ‘’Zizinja’’, serves as a melodious siren, calling out to individuals to pursue their aspirations fearlessly.

Rooted in African rhythms, this uplifting anthem delivers a powerful message— your dreams are valid, and it's high time to go after them. The song urges listeners to embrace their passions and overcome obstacles that may stand in their way.

‘’Zizinja“, which translates to ‘’chase your dreams’’ in English, resonates with audiences from diverse backgrounds.

Ntshinka's heartfelt delivery and meaningful lyrics evoke a sense of motivation and empowerment, igniting a fire within listeners to step forward on their own paths to success, a constant reminder that dreams are within reach for those who dare to pursue them.

Additionally, Ntshinka is set to release another track, ‘’Ingase Uyazi,’’ during the upcoming Mental Health Awareness Month in October.

This forthcoming song promises to be an introspective and empathetic creation, shedding light on the importance of mental health and the challenges people face in their daily lives.

While the full details of ‘’Ingase Uyazi’’ remain under wraps, the young artist's decision to dedicate a song to mental health awareness speaks volumes about her compassion and desire to contribute positively to her community.

‘’Ingase Uyazi!, translates to ‘’I wish you could know’’ in English, and its lyrics hold a profound significance.

Through her soulful voice and heartfelt words, Ntshinka reaches out to everyone who feels burdened by the weight of their struggles, reminding them that they are royalty. In the face of hardships and dark moments, she urges them to hold on and persevere because they are meant for greatness.

Ntshinka's willingness to use her platform to address significant issues reflects her commitment to using music as a force for good.

Although Ntshinka faces obstacles such as ‘’imposter syndrome’’ and the fear of failing, which made me delay in releasing any music. She released her first single last November, titled ‘’uMaqondana’’, a song written in 2015.

Qaqamba Ntshinka hopes to inspire and bring hope to others through music. Picture: Supplied

‘’Performing live music is a breath of fresh air to me. Oh! it makes me feel good. Taking people through a journey musically is so beautiful to watch. Watching people receive my craft despite the language barriers is such a blessing,’’ she added.

Ntshinka firmly believes that it is important to connect with her audience because these are the people she write’s to. These are the people that brings inspiration and life to the song.

‘’Their experiences cause me to write music that they will relate to.’’

With ‘’Zizinja’’ already resonating in the hearts of many and ‘’Ingase Uyazi’’ eagerly awaited for its meaningful release, Ntshinka's contribution to the world of Afro Jazz is becoming increasingly apparent.

‘’I believe music has the power to influence people, to impact people's lives, to motivate young people to chase their dreams. Music has the power to unite.

“Music has the power to build families, to promote love. Music has to the power to bring home, especially in hopeless places full of poverty, crime and misery.’’ she concludes.

As Ntshinka's star continues to rise, her talent, authenticity, and dedication to her craft set her apart as an artist who transcends musical boundaries.

Her music has the power not only to entertain but also to uplift spirits and inspire positive change in the lives of her listeners.