UKZN music student and lecturer, Ms Slindo Zondo, recently performed her first solo concert at the Centre for Jazz and Popular music on the Howard College campus.
‘Performing at this concert was exciting and intimidating as it was a mixture of genres. It is something that I have always wanted to do onstage,’ she said.
She performed four afro-pop compositions with a touch of RnB and Opera, with two of the music items tackling women and child abuse. ‘One of the songs is called Uzibeleni? which simply means ‘why are you ignorant?’. The idea was to encourage people to talk about any form of abuse they may witness either in their neighbourhood or workplace and seek help for the victims. Other songs had a touch of hip-hop and isicathamiya,’ said Zondo.
She was accompanied by Stanley Matlou on drums, Blessing Twala on bass and Mbuso Nxumalo on keys with vocals by Sethu Magagula, Le Canta Rose and Mdali Mthethwa.
‘I believe if one can enjoy a food buffet, why not a music buffet to feed one’s soul with starters of ballads, a main meal of groovy beats and a dessert of soothing operatic voices,’ she added.
Zondo hopes to one day create a ‘Clash of the Genres’ event with other musicians. ‘Everybody has something to learn throughout a career and something to bring to the table. Opera is not well represented in South Africa’s music industry so maybe next year, I might just run a campaign for that,’ she said.
Zondo currently teaches singing in musical theatre, pop and opera at UKZN’s School of Arts and is one of the well-renowned singers of ‘popera’- a hybrid genre that blends pop and opera. She also won the ‘most promising artist’ prize in Amazwi Omzansi singing competition (2015).
Apart from being a musician, Zondo is involved in various community projects that promote and support performing arts. She has been a part of the Artists in Residency Programme at the BAT Centre (2016), a board member for Sing Africa Trust (2017) and adjudicates and facilitates for the Great Bingo project in the Thukela District that mainly develops choral or western classical music in the area (2017-2019).