Tomorrow night in Johannesburg, the wonderful South African singer Busi Mhlongo will perform at a benefit concert... a benefit, in part, for herself. Ms. Mhlongo has breast cancer, and some of the money raised will go towards her medical expenses.
She’ll also be celebrating her 60th birthday.
SABC, the national broadcaster, will televise tomorrow’s concert live. For SABC, this coincides with a public awareness campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
For those of you who don’t know Busi Mhlongo, let me introduce you to her music. (If you want more, you can purchase and download tracks from iTunes, eMusic or Calabash Music.)
Click the song titles below to stream the music on my Vox audio stash.
1. “Uganga Nge Ngane”
Mhlongo is rooted in traditional Zulu music, especially the guitar-based maskanda style. But her breakthrough album, “Urbanzulu” (1998), has a thoroughly modern vibe. Produced by Britain’s Will Mowat (Soul II Soul), “Urbanzulu” was an international hit. I love this CD so much, I used to give it out as gifts.
This is from her first solo album, “Babhemu” (1994), recorded with her old touring band, Twasa.
Hugh Masekela got a “directed by” credit for Mhlongo’s 2003 CD, “Freedom,” and he co-wrote this song. “Icala” is sung partly in English.
4. “We Baba Omncane”
Another track from “Urbanzulu.” I’m saying, this album is the bomb.