THE GENTLE GIANT OF SA MUSIC
At 70, Sipho is more vital than ever. His music has featured in the December 2021 summer campaign for MTN. He also made the cover, including a 16-page feature in the Jan/Feb issue GQ Magazine, and was awarded a GQ Lifetime Achievement Award the month before.
Sipho turned 70 in November 2021 and his band is Thembeka Khumalo (SAMA nominated) on vocals, Simphwe Khubeka on drums, Thando on guitar, David Mabaso on bass, Lloyd “Toto” Mbele on keys and Sipho Mabuse on vocals and saxophone.
As former-president President Kgalema Motlanthe wrote on Sipho’s 70th birthday on 2 Nov 2021
My brother Sipho, we have come a long way together, and through your 70 year-long pilgrimage to the highest echelons of social, cultural, and artistic eminence, we remember the distinguished milestones of your life and honour this as a moment for all South Africans to consider your pioneering contribution to African music and a global movement of expression.
From the tender age of 8 years old playing drums to already becoming a professional musician by age 15, yours is a seminal career that not only spans six decades and counting but is a career that defined an industry with an oeuvre that set the tone for a golden era of music.
The sound of Sipho “Hotstix’ Mabuse was to set the world alight with sonic vibrations that contributed to the cultural development of world music, Afro-funk, Soweto soul, township pop and contemporary sounds over the years.
As one of the most influential multi-instrumentalists in Africa, the creative industry is fortunate to benefit from an endowment of musical genius, enlightened performances, and an unwavering commitment that Sipho “Hotstix’ Mabuse has offered to a range of young musicians over the past half-century.
These gifts of mentorship, advice, experience, and priceless lessons are the ingredients that create a meaningful consciousness among young people entering the arts.
The crucial social and political role that music has played in our history cannot be taken for granted. Beyond the pleasure that music and art, in general, elicits in people, it serves an even higher purpose – that of developing the consciousness of people and improving the social system.
At 70 years of age, Sipho “Hotstix’ Mabuse continues to play a critical role in the South African music scene with the power to build social cohesion, the ethical leadership to rear a new generation of musicians, and the virtuosity to uplift a nation through ground-shaking tunes.
Yours is a testament to the contribution of a South African musical prodigy whose impact is burnt into the memory of a nation and whose creative passion evokes the emotions of history and the heart.
A truly heartfelt tribute to one of South Africa’s greats.
Thirty-seven years ago, Sipho’s half-a-million-selling smash-hit single “Burn Out” changed the face and shape of Afro-pop and township jive like no other song or artist in pop music history.
Today there are few instruments he cannot play. Flute, piano, saxophone, kalimba, alto flute, timbales and African drums all feature at some point in his repertoire, all played with the respect each deserves.
Warm, compassionate, caring and gifted in ways even he is still learning about, this gentle giant of great original music is as vital a player today as he’s ever been.
With an impressive catalogue anchored in Africa, all who meet, greet, and share stages with Sipho are all touched by a humility and grace that’s as rare as the talent this living legend shares with us all.
Notes to the editor:
A quick Google search brings up names like The Beaters, Sipho’s first band that later evolved to become Harari, one of the most successful acts to dominate the music scene of the 1970s in South Africa. They were the ultimate party band. One of South Africa’s most important musical acts, Harari, will forever hold legendary status, even after splitting in 1982. In his solo capacity, Sipho continues to create wonderfully original South African-born music.
He has also recorded and produced many legendary artists, the likes of Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri and Sibongile Khumalo. As a regular commentator on arts and culture in the country, Sipho has also sat on the boards of Music Exchange , The National Arts Council and SAMRO (South African Musicians Rights Organisation).
Selected Career Highlights
2005 – SAMA Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
2008 – 46664 Ambassador – performing in London’s Hyde Park.
2009 – 46664 Ambassador – performing at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
2018 – Silver Order of Ikhamanga, for his contribution to the field of music.
2018 – Lifetime Achievement Award winner at the 13th Annual South African Traditional Music Achievements Awards (SATMA).
2021 – Lifetime Achievement Award from GQ magazine.
For more information, please contact manager Martin Myers @ email@example.com