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Young, talented musicians are to explore their personal love affairs with music in the Ziveze Music Project production, I Am Born With It.
A GROUP of talented young artists has been brought together through the Ziveze Music Project to tell the stories of their relationships with music.


Sandile MatsheniSandile Matsheni: growing Soweto talentTheir show is called I Am Born With It, and will be on the Joburg Promusica Basement stage in June.

Ziveze Music Project (ZMP) was created by Sandile Matsheni, an actor and the president of Soweto Rhythm Production. It started as a fund-raising initiative, which was meant to serve as a stepping stone for young musicians.

It soon turned into more as Matsheni believes that “talent without direction is like an untold story”. Joined by writer, director and choreographer Lynet Tebogo Gasetlole, known more commonly as Dey, the duo shaped the programme to fit their vision.

I Am Born With It is the product of this work. The performers gave a preview on 23 May of what audiences can expect. Ziveze means “showcase your talent”, and this is what they did when they illustrated their unique affairs with music.

“Music is the best communication,” Matsheni said. “When you listen to music, your ear gets attached to the melody,” partner Dey added.

Kwaito, gospel, hip-hop and Afro pop/soul were all travel breaks in the journey of these artists, giving deeper insight into what drives them. “Their talent comes in different packages, and we try to find this talent and nurture it,” Matsheni explained.

“These people are hungry for the stage, and we are trying to bring back things that are uniquely South African as we wanted the show to be different,” he said. Casting people from disadvantaged backgrounds, some of whom had been sexually abused, but all of whom wanted to explore their association with music, ensured that the show was a departure from the norm.


LynetLynet Tebogo Gasetlole choreographs dance for ZivezeCash was a big concern in whether or not the project would get off the ground. However, funding from the National Arts Council covered auditions and workshops; money from the Department of Arts and Culture covered rehearsals; and input from Steve Kekane, an advocate, enabled the plan to be realised.

Soweto Rhythm Production, which was established in 2005, incubates the talent in ZMP and serves to equip young musicians with the necessary tools of skills and training. “It aims to help musicians find a higher purpose than just being famous,” Matsheni said.

They cater for the artistic needs of 10- to 16-year-olds, and as such I Am Born With It is aimed at audiences from the age of 10 upwards.

The artists in the show will be part of the Ziveze programme for about a year, whereafter a new batch of young talent will be brought in. Matsheni and Dey believe that by the then, the current artists will have enough exposure and experience to be able to further their own careers.

I Am Born With It will comprise six shows, performed in the Basement at Promusica on Friday 3, 10 and 17 June at 7pm; on Saturday 4 and 11 June at 4pm; and on Sunday 19 June at 4pm.

Tickets are R60 from Matsheni on 071 628 0342 or Dey on 078 784 5857. You can also call the theatre on 011 674 1357/8 or visit the website for more information.

Joburg Promusica Theatre is found at 100 Christiaan de Wet Drive in Florida Park, Roodepoort.

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