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Sephuma mentors budding musicians at Jozi workshop


Aspiring young artists were given a feel of the music industry and how to navigate its corners and contours at a Geleza Kleva and Learn workshop in Diepsloot last week as part of the build-up to this year’s Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival.

The youth music development workshop, presented by Standard Bank in partnership with the City of Johannesburg, was the first of three to be held in Johannesburg ahead of the 19th edition of the Joy of Jazz Festival at the Sandton Convention Centre on 16 and17 September 2016.

The aim of the workshops is to equip budding musicians with business knowledge and to enlighten them about various careers in the industry. The workshops provide young minds with the tools to succeed in the industry as well as guidelines on how to nurture their flair for music. The two other workshops will be held at the Diepkloof Community Hall in Soweto on Thursday 21 July 2016 and Chiawelo Community Hall, also in Soweto, on Thursday 28 July 2016.

The City of Johannesburg’s Dudu Maseko said the City sought to maintain its leadership role as a global artistic powerhouse on the continent.

“We have to invest in our youth and are happy that through events like this we can add value that will have future benefits,” she said.

Leading jazz singer and composer Sephuma and music teacher Ernie Smith visited Diepsloot to show aspirant musicians the ropes. Renowned music educator Concorde Nkabinde said it was important to instil a business mindset in young artists to develop their careers and help them understand that music “is a serious industry”.

“We’ve been doing this for three years now because we saw that many artists were not business-orientated. Our core mission is to equip aspirant artists with a set of skills to manage their music careers,” he said.

Nkabinde said the workshop offered the youth a better way of understanding the industry, its structures and dynamics and also provides a clear practical steps to follow for the youngsters.

Sephuma shared anecdotes of her humble beginnings with the crowd and encouraged young people to overcome all their challenges. She said the most important thing in the industry was knowing how things worked.

“I never used to rest. I was always dedicated to hard work. I’ve been to a lot of places to get to where I am today and I made sure I performed like no other,” she said.

Smith said: “I think the scope of the South African music needs to grow because many artists only explore few genres. I’d like to see more artists growing in different styles and exploring other genres.”

Kgomotso Matlala, 20, who dreams of becoming a gospel singer one day, said: “The workshop has shown me the steps I need to take to launch my music career. I'm really excited.”