Maleh to fly with ea­gles at MACUFE

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment - Mo­halenyane Phakela

LE­SOTHO-BORN songstress, Maleh, says she is liv­ing her dream in head­lin­ing the Man­gaung African Cul­tural Fes­ti­val (MACUFE) along­side in­ter­na­tional artists such as Tamia.

Maleh, whose real name is Malehloka Hlalele, is billed to per­form at MACUFE’S pop­u­lar Di­vas Con­cert on 9 Oc­to­ber 2015 at The Dome - Old Grey Sports Ground in Bloem­fontein. The Di­vas Con­cert line-up also in­cludes South African star­lets Lira, Nt­siki Ndzume, Bucie and Grammy Award-nom­i­nated Cana­dian singer-song­writer Tamia.

The 30-year-old Chim­soro hit maker told the Week­ender from her Johannesburg base this week that it was an hon­our and priv­i­lege to per­form at the fes­ti­val which launched the ca­reers of many artists over the years. Maleh said the cherry on the cake was the op­por­tu­nity to rub shoul­ders with her child­hood idol Tamia.

“I grew up lis­ten­ing to Tamia and was inspired by her mu­sic. I never thought there would come a day when I would share the stage with her,” said Maleh, who was born and bred in Maseru West.

“I am look­ing for­ward to per­form­ing at the show, which shows that my ca­reer is in an up­ward tra­jec­tory.”

Speak­ing about her mu­si­cal ca­reer, the Neo-soul and Afro-pop singer said she is spurred by pas­sion for her craft and the sup­port she re­ceives from her pro­ducer. Her de­but al­bum Step Child won a 2013 South African Mu­sic Awards (SAMA) award in the Best African Adult Al­bum cat­e­gory, with her 2015 of­fer­ing, You Make My Heart Go, clinch­ing a sim­i­lar gong this year.

How­ever, it wasn’t all plain sail­ing for the muso, who took time to con­quer the cut­throat South African en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.

“I have been in the in­dus­try for years, and if I was do­ing it for fame or money, I would have given up a long time ago due to the chal­lenges I have faced,” said the muso, who for­ayed into mu­sic at the age of 18 as a mem­ber of the Afro Pop group Kaya.

“How­ever, singing is a pas­sion for which I am truly ded­i­cated. So I never de­spaired in the lean spells of my ca­reer.

“It is hard to sur­vive in this in­dus­try. I was for­tu­nate to meet for­mer Jazz mu­si­cian, Fundile Mdingi, who also hap­pens to be one of the best pro­duc­ers I ever met be­cause he has had a great in­flu­ence on my mu­sic.”

Asked about the source of in­spi­ra­tion for her mu­sic, Maleh said: “I write songs from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences, and I look at is­sues from a woman’s per­spec­tive since we face many chal­lenges. I also use mu­sic to en­cour­age the youth to pur­sue their dreams, while also telling sto­ries of love.”

She said her love af­fair with the Moun­tain King­dom is un­quench­able, although op­por­tu­ni­ties to visit were few and far be­tween ow­ing to a hec­tic sched­ule.

“I al­ways feel hon­oured ev­ery time I per­form in Le­sotho. How­ever, due to my busy sched­ule, I take ad­van­tage of those few op­por­tu­ni­ties to take a peek at my beau­ti­ful and moun­tain­ous coun­try,” said Maleh.

“The last time I was in Le­sotho was in Novem­ber last year dur­ing the Ul­ti­mate Mu­sic Awards, and my wish is to see my­self on a stage in Le­sotho be­fore the end of this year. The sup­port I get at home is awe­some.”

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