Leomile dates Le­sotho, SA uni­ver­si­ties

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment - Mo­halenyane Phakela

LE­SOTHO-BORN songstress Leomile Mot­set­sela will next week be­gin a tour of ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions in Botswana, South Africa and Le­sotho along­side gui­tarist and com­poser Zelizwe Mthembu.

Dubbed The Leomile Project SADC Uni­ver­si­ties’ Tour, the ini­tia­tive is sup­ported by Con­certs SA through the Mu­sic Mo­bil­ity Fund – a fund­ing mech­a­nism which of­fers op­por­tu­ni­ties for South African mu­si­cians to un­der­take live mu­sic tours.

Leomile who was born in Lower Thet­sane and cur­rently re­sides in Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa, will kick-start her tour with a date at Botswana’s AFDA Col­lege in Gaborone on 18 May be­fore mov­ing to Univer­sity of Lim­popo in Polok­wane, South Africa, the fol­low­ing day.

Her home­com­ing will be­gin at Limkok­wing Univer­sity of Cre­ative Tech­nol­ogy on 25 May and then move to the Na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho the fol­low­ing day be­fore the fi­nal stop at Mach­abeng Col­lege on 9 June.

Leomile re­leased her de­but al­bum Pula Molomo last Septem­ber and it spawned the sin­gle Ler­ato Le Felile which has re­ceived favourable air­play on lo­cal and South African ra­dio.

The song was also nom­i­nated for the Song of the Year award at last year’s Ul­ti­mate Mu­sic awards while the al­bum was nom­i­nated for the Best New­comer and Best In­ter­na­tional Break­through.

Greatly in­flu­enced by African sounds, her mu­sic is in­fused with lyrics that ad­dress im­por­tant is­sues of iden­tity and wom­an­hood. Her treat­ment of these vi­tal and of­ten buried as­pects of African life is hon­est yet ul­ti­mately charged with ide­al­ism and hope. The sphere of Afro fu­sion (with heavy in­flu­ences of soul and jazz) is where Leomile’s mu­sic mainly re­sides.

Mean­while Zelizwe Mthembu is a gui­tarist, song­writer who un­der­went mu­si­cal train­ing at the Mu­sic Academy of Gaut­eng in South Africa and at the Moses Molelekwa Arts Foun­da­tion.

He has been a key contributor to the writ­ing and per­form­ing of proudly African mu­sic as the chief com­poser and lead gui­tarist for bands The Brother Moves On, Zuko Col­lec­tive, Brown Baby Mu­sic, The Leomile Project and his solo work as Yusuf Makon­gela.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased last week, the duo have been work­ing to­gether since 2014. They de­cided to tour to­gether in or­der to in­tro­duce their dis­tinc­tive sound to their peers in the re­gion

“This Le­sotho-south African col­lab­o­ra­tion started in 2014 when Mthembu lent his skills to Leomile for her grad­u­a­tion recital and there­after be­came a per­ma­nent fix­ture in the singer-song­writer’s band as­sist­ing with ar­range­ments, com­pos­ing and gui­tar play­ing,” part of the state­ment reads.

“Pas­sion­ate about the mu­sic they play to­gether, the duo have de­cided to tour re­gion­ally with their six-piece live band and con­nect with their peers and core mar­ket by tour­ing uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges in Le­sotho, South Africa and Botswana.”

In the same state­ment, Leomile said: “Live mu­sic was a com­mon fea­ture on the en­ter­tain­ment bill not so long ago”.

“Whether at the lo­cal pub in the town­ship or as part of the week­end en­ter­tain­ment at the Na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho, the peo­ple lis­tened. Fast for­ward to 2017 and a dif­fer­ent story pre­vails. In Maseru it seems to be a dy­ing art breath­ing its last through fes­ti­vals wide and far apart with not much pro­duc­tion of a new breed of in­stru­men­tal­ists to carry the baton into a new phase.

“There­fore we are very ex­cited to be tour­ing our project so be sure to catch what I guar­an­tee will be a sa­cred gath­er­ing.”

Her man­ager Nt iuoa Mot­set­sela said the tour would make up for the dis­ap­point­ment of their fail­ure to tour the re­lease of Pula Molomo.

“The plan was to have a tour soon af­ter the al­bum was re­leased last year but then due to fi­nan­cial strain we only man­aged to have the launch in Le­sotho fol­lowed by a cou­ple of per­for­mances in South Africa,” Mot­set­sela said.

“The tour will not only fo­cus on the al­bum but the sound of Leomile in gen­eral which will in­clude songs which were not part of the Pula Molomo of­fer­ing.

“We are on a mis­sion of dis­sem­i­nat­ing the in­for­ma­tion car­ried in Leomile’s mu­sic and pro­mot­ing her as an artiste so we are very much grate­ful for Con­certs SA fund­ing be­cause this tour would not have been pos­si­ble with­out them,” she said.

SONGSTRESS Leomile Mot­set­sela.

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