I am not ashamed of my past – Moneoa


- Patience Bambalele

AFRO-POP and neo-soul star Moneoa Moshesh is not ashamed of her past.

Moshesh, 24, grew up in poverty, brought up by her single mother in a small flat in Berea, Durban.

Sometimes the family would not have running water and electricit­y for weeks when her mother could not afford to pay the bills.

However, because of all the hardships, she focused on her dance talent.

“When I realised that we were poor, I used to enter a lot of dance competitio­ns so that I could get money to help my mother. I also did modelling on the side while at school. Eventually, things got better because my mother got a job in Johannesbu­rg, ” she says.

Her family originally came from Lesotho and their surname is Moshoeshoe. The famous actress Nthati Moshesh is her aunt.

Moshesh ’ s grandmothe­r left Lesotho to settle in Mthatha after her grandfathe­r died. Her mother later moved to Durban.

Growing up in a disadvanta­ged environmen­t also made the singer work hard. She excelled at school, especially in debating, poetry and speech writing.

Through music, she has learned to turn her past experience­s into

song. Her aim is to inspire other people and prove that it is possible to start from humble beginnings and turn into a star.

“I am inspired by simple things like love and life in general. I am not ashamed to say I was poor at some point. I want to inspire people who are ashamed of where they come from. I want this to be a lesson even to young kids.”

Her debut

album, Coming From Going

To, proves that Moshesh has a unique talent and is a star.

That album was nominated for the Channel O Music and Metro FM Music awards, although she did not win. Her latest album, Ndim

Lo, has scored two Metro FM Music Awards nomination­s this year. In the best R&B album category, she is up against Afrotracti­on, Ayanda Jiya, Donald, and Lloyd Cele.

In the best female album of the year category, she is competing with Naima Kay, Bucie, Unathi Msengana and the late Lulu Dikana.

Moshesh admits that the competitio­n is tight because she has been grouped with people who are talented. Moshesh hopes to come back with at least one award at the ceremony in Durban on February 28.

“This time I really hope to salvage something.

“If I get both awards, it will be a blessing,” she says.

Apart from worrying about winning awards, Moshesh is also in the studio preparing to release Ndim Lo as a deluxe album next month.

The original album was released in October and has been repackaged and enhanced with more songs. The double-disc album will even have a different sleeve. It features the hit song Yekelela , which enjoys a lot of airplay from both commercial and public broadcasti­ng radio stations. Unlike Coming From Going To,

Ndim Lo shows off Moshesh ’ s maturity with her singing prowess and impeccable sound.

She feels that she didn ’ t connect much with her fans in the first album, despite the material being filled with her experience­s and thoughts.

“The album came from a naive place. I tried to relate my experience as a young girl and my interactio­n with men.

“You know, when you are young, you think you will get your prince charming and get married. As you grow older, you realise that you do not understand men the way you [thought] you do.”

But now her second album, which has a variety of slow, mid-tempo and up-tempo songs, showcases her storytelli­ng ability and a skill of being able to express herself. She knows what she wants, having been exposed to the industry.

I want to inspire people who are ashamed of where they come from

 ??  ??
 ?? PHOTOS: SUPPLIED ?? UNIQUE: Moneoa Moshesh is a force in afro-pop and neo-soul
PHOTOS: SUPPLIED UNIQUE: Moneoa Moshesh is a force in afro-pop and neo-soul
 ??  ?? SENSATION: Moshesh has found her footing in music
SENSATION: Moshesh has found her footing in music
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa