Simphiwe Dana bares all in ‘Moya’

Simphiwe Dana. Picture: Supplied

Simphiwe Dana. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 21, 2024


Cape Town - Creative songwriter, singer and social activist Simphiwe Dana has announced the return of Moya at the Artscape Theatre later this month when Cape Town patrons will be transported on a mystical journey with different segments of acapella music arranged by the incomparable Titi Luzipo.

Dana shares how the concept of Moya was born. “When my mom passed away, I struggled with emotions of loss. I felt the unfairness of her untimely passing and even guilt that I could have done more.

“Usually my creative process is precipitated by these kinds of struggles where my studio becomes my safe space. So I started writing these songs and through them remembering my mom in the light of her beautiful soul. So these songs appeal to the spirit and incorporate the kind of music she and I connected through.“

Dana said the production addressed her dealing with grief and healing, which led her back to her original writings.

“These are acappella versions of my work from the first album to date. I wanted the original spirit they were created in before instrumentation was added. And so a lot of the songs you’ve heard before come out sounding different.

“It will be a healing circle, where the audience will feel that their emotions are validated.”

KekeLingo and Simphiwe Dana at the Joburg show. Picture: Supplied

Dana, known for her creative social commentary and activism through music as a political art form, has collaborated with the internationally acclaimed Gregory Maqoma to fuse the importance of partnership showcasing an interaction of the arts.

She adds: “I have rediscovered my calm on stage. I have more reverence for the music I give my audiences.”

Dana, who is currently on holiday in Germany, said the production is set in spiritual intimacy which is the best predictor of one’s marital intimacy and well-being through the lens of spiritual meaning.

“This speaks to the mother/child bond, the mother being a child’s first version of god in a sense.”

Touching on the role that costume design plays in her stage production and how it contributes to the overall aesthetic and storytelling, Dana said: “The styling lends itself to being an ode to African couture, which gives more credence to the identity of the spirituality in the music.“

The single mom from Johannesburg said she enjoys quiet time when she isn’t performing on stage.

“I’m a solitary creature by nature, and I have a lot on my plate as a single parent as well. I enjoy cooking for my friends and hosting.”

Moya takes to the stage on January 26 and 27 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from and range between R500 and R700 each.