Bongani’s in tune with aspiring musicians

Mdantsane man’s Uthando Lwekasi NPO empowering young artists to make a living from their talents

Bongani Bacela, 42, is the owner of the Uthando Lwekasi NPO
NURTURING TALENT: Bongani Bacela, 42, is the owner of the Uthando Lwekasi NPO

Bongani Bacela, 42, owner of the Uthando Lwekasi non-profit organisation, keeps the youth off the streets and away from substance abuse by enabling them to turn their talents into viable businesses that will help them earn a living through music.

The NPO is dedicated to ensuring people can showcase their talent by hiring studios.

For the past six years he has empowered young artists to own their intellectual property by sharing information through music business workshops.

 “We wanted to establish a suitable environment for young artists to be able to transform their talents into practical businesses that will help them earn a living through the arts, especially given the high rate of unemployment,” Bacela said.

He is a musician who has recorded with the band Dynamic and Tempo and Mandisi Luxomo was senior producer.

Unizone is a music group that has songs featured in the Miriam Makeba Eastern Cape Audio Visual Centre and were distributed by EMI records back in 2010 during the Soccer World Cup.

He then applied his musical abilities to volunteer at an art centre in Mdantsane.

He said his love of music fuelled his development as a life-motivated artist.

With the information he gained along the way, he had been able to assist other artists.

His goal is to provide a platform for young people to showcase their talents while also offering them with opportunities to obtain more knowledge about and exposure to music.

More than 100 participants have benefited from the NPO since it was established.

The Uthando Lwekasi & Rural Development Music Auditions were held in Mdantsane City Mall on May 27.

The winner received a R5,000 Lani Wear clothing voucher and the opportunity to record three songs, the runner-up won the chance to record two songs, and the third-prize winner won a single recording and online distribution.

The winners’ music will be available on all digital music platforms under Gallery Vision music distribution in Dubai.     

When the government acknowledged his outstanding impact and dedication, Uthando Lwekasi was awarded R13,800 by the Buffalo City Metro economic development and agencies department to record six songs for the winners.

For three months, participants will have the opportunity to write songs and have access to brand management, including mentorship and workshops covering brand development and music industry programmes.

There will be engagement on composing and writing songs and vocal coaching lessons.

This includes main song recording, mixing and mastering, and marketing which includes radio, newspapers, a Uthando Lwekasi Music Festival performance and promo performances.     

Bacela was described as a very humble individual by Andiswa Nyigwashe, the guardian of a young participant in the programme.

“He is enthusiastic about what he is doing for the youth and the community as a whole.

“Trying to change someone’s life for the better requires a lot of strength and sacrifices. ”

“Seeing a lot of people excited and having music as part of their routine has a big impact.

“I have a younger brother, Lubone Nyigwashe, who entered an Uthando Lwekasi competition and won.

“His dedication is still visible, and I am so proud of him for pursuing his dreams.”

Zoliswa Deki nominated Bacela as a local hero.

“He is not only ambitious but also motivated about arts development and loves seeing other people to prosper in life.”

“He has helped to turn young, upcoming artists into professionals, just as he is doing with the Uthando Lwekasi & Rural Development Music Auditions.

“Mostly, it will be people who have never recorded before, but they will be turned into professionals by recording and releasing their music online through him.”

We pride ourselves as the Mdantsane community on having such an artist and community arts developer.”



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