Talented duo part of 047 launch in EL

Saxophonist Bongani Radebe and guitarist Bekezela perform live at the Guild Theatre tonight.
Saxophonist Bongani Radebe and guitarist Bekezela perform live at the Guild Theatre tonight.
Image: Randell Roskruge

Saxophonist Bongani Radebe and singer/guitarist Bekezela are testimony that good things don’t come to those who wait – but to those who work hard and persevere.

The two will join Mthatha’s newest group, 047, at their album launch at the Guild Theatre in East London on Friday.

The event is a partnership between Muthalanda Entertainment and East London’s C Tone Productions.

Bekezela, who hails from Zimbabwe, moved to South Africa in 2008 with the hope of breaking into the music industry.

“I followed the sound of music. I thought Ringo would be waiting for me at the Park Station when I arrived.”

Upon his arrival in the country, Bekezela said he realised that he would have to put his dream of becoming a singer on hold.

“I started doing manual work in order to survive. I wrote the popular song Bekezela while digging a trench at a construction site where I worked.”

The song, which he says is the cry of a young man who is in a long distance relationship due to circumstances out of his control, became an instant hit and made it to a number of radio stations around the country.

“I remember I was so excited that the song was doing so well but I was still doing odd jobs.”

In 2015, Bekezela decided to hang up his guitar and leave everything to God.

“I had been trying to do things on my own and one day I told God that he must take care of my music.”

A year later, Bekezela received a call from Sipho Nyathi, who was the manager of Nathi Mankayi at the time.

“He told me the song was great and asked what I was doing with myself. I told him I was working as a waiter and he could not believe it. He organised a meeting with me and the rest is history,” he said.

Bekezela’s self-titled album came out last year and earned him a nomination at this year’s South African Afro Music Awards in the best afro artist category.

For Radebe, music has always been in his DNA but it was only in 2014 that he decided to try the saxophone.

“Before that I used to play the clarinet. A friend who was a saxophone player told me to try the sax as well,” he said.

Since taking up the saxophone, Radebe said he had not looked back.

“I released my first album, Buyelekhaya Sax Rendition, in 2016 and I spent a lot of time travelling with Nathi and Vusi Nova,” he said.

Radebe said he was now working on his second album.

C Tone Production director Luzuko Khohli said they were excited to be a part of this event.

“We have our own local talent, Malizole Fololo, opening the show and East London must prepare to be blown away.”

General tickets cost R200 with VIP going for R300. Tickets are sold at the Guild Theatre.