Shashika hit high note at Sa­mas

Post - - NEWS - CHANELLE LUTCH­MAN

DURBAN-born singer Shashika Mooruth is on a high af­ter win­ning the in­ter­na­tional achieve­ment award for her folk mu­sic al­bum Jo­gan and Kr­ishna, The Flute Player, at the South African Mu­sic Awards (Sa­mas) at the week­end.

Mooruth made his­tory by be­ing the only South African of In­dian ori­gin to re­ceive the award as pro­ducer, song­writer and record­ing artist. It was pre­sented to her by Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa.

“When the pres­i­dent was an­nounced at the awards, I thought to my­self, ‘Wow, he is here,’ but I ex­pected him to leave af­ter a while. When it got to my award, he came on stage and that’s when it hit me, I was go­ing to be awarded by our own pres­i­dent,” said Mooruth, who lives in In­dia.

“I won’t say I was ner­vous, rather I was ex­cited to meet him and while walking on stage, it was as though the Lord was calling so the speech I had men­tally pre­pared in my mind was wasted.

“In­stead I re­quested to sing for him and my mu­sic had the words ‘sa’ and ‘ma’, which I thought was suit­able for the oc­ca­sion… and I did a small skit; peo­ple loved it. The artists were on their feet singing along, the pres­i­dent was tap­ping his feet…”

The 54-year-old said she must have sang the same piece about 10 times the next day.

“Ev­ery­where I went peo­ple were just stop­ping me and ask­ing me to sing that verse for them again be­cause they en­joyed it. And what was even more touch­ing was when black artists mes­saged me, one want­ing to learn Hindi and an­other from Sene­gal telling me my mu­sic touched his soul.”

The for­mer Mobeni Heights res­i­dent left South Africa to fur­ther her stud­ies in mu­sic and start her ca­reer.

“There is not much of a In­dian South African field here for our South African In­di­ans to start their ca­reer, and when I went on stage I told the pres­i­dent about that and his re­sponse was to con­tinue do­ing what I am do­ing as I have al­ready made my coun­try proud,” she said. “It was very en­cour­ag­ing to know all my ef­forts were be­ing recog­nised.”

Mooruth added: “The award was not only for me, but also for In­di­ans in South Africa. It was heart-warm­ing to see our mu­sic is be­ing recog­nised, and it was a big mo­ment for In­dian mu­sic in South Africa. Now the younger gen­er­a­tion needs to fol­low suit and start mak­ing things hap­pen. Sadly, we do not have an iden­tity as a South African In­dian mu­sic in­dus­try, and we need to build it up.”

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Durban-born Shashika Mooruth re­ceived the In­ter­na­tional Achieve­ment award from Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa.

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