Busi Mhlongo

Decades: 1990s 2000s


September 1947, Durban, South Africa. Mhlongo sang in her local church choir as a child. On leaving school she relocated to Johannesburg, recording a solo single before joining the group African Jazz as a vocalist. She then sang with Conjunto Juan Paulo, a Portuguese army band, with whom she was able to leave South Africa. Travelling with them to Mozambique, Angola and finally Portugal. In the early 70s she moved to London where she featured on recordings by Osibisa and Dudu Pukwana, before moving on to Canada where she took the lead role in Reefer Gladness, a stage production. In the 80s she moved between the Netherlands and South Africa with her group Twasa. Babhemu, her debut album, was released in 1993 on Munich, a small, independent Dutch label, and, internationally, by Stern’s Records, a year later. The highlight of the album was the soulful ballad ‘Ntandane’ (meaning ‘Orphans’). Following a period running workshops in Zulu singing...

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