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#MusicExchange: Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse

Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse is fondly known as the 'Legend' and his boundless work energy show no signs of slowing down.
Last weekend, he and his band played the Azgo Festival in Maputo and this weekend he appears at the Zakifo Festival in Durban, then the Bassline Festival at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg along with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and many other acts and thereafter a four-hour drive to the MTN Bushfire Festival in Swaziland to headline the Sunday lineup.

Just last month, Mabuse was honoured by President Ramaphosa and received a national order. The citation, Order of Ikhamanga in Silver, read, “for his contribution to the field of music and social cohesion. His spellbinding music has consistently captured the imagination of the nation.”

Some of his plans for later in the year include a major show in Soweto, along with speaking at Music Exchange in September in Cape Town and a once-off event at the Baxter Concert Hall in October - no burnout for Hotstix. I spoke to him last week.

BizcommunityWhen are you happiest?
When children call me daddy, especially in Soweto.

BizcommunityAny funny moments on stage?
When I forget the lyrics to a song.

BizcommunityWhich living person do you admire most and why?
Sol Kerzner, a brilliant creative mind (Lost City one of the wonders of the world, created by a human being).

BizcommunityWhat is your most treasured possession?
An old South African rand (the one rand and note) signed by the late President Nelson Mandela on his release from prison.

BizcommunityIt’s your round, what are you drinking?
Martini and lemonade.

BizcommunityDream gig to do?
Any desert festival.

BizcommunityWhat makes you stand out?
I don’t.


BizcommunityIf you were not a musician, what would you do?
A hospital porter.

BizcommunityPick five words to describe yourself?
Insecure, purposeful, magnanimous, amorous, loving, and sensitive.

BizcommunityFive desert island discs?

These are songs that have influenced my thinking and what I do as an artist.
Beatles - Norwegian Wood - first song I learnt to play in the Beaters, my first band.
Bob Marley - Jonny Was.
Babsi Mhlangani - Sala Emma.
Johnny Clegg - Scaterlings of Africa.
West Nkosi - Two Mabone - that song influenced me to make Jive Soweto and Shikisha.

BizcommunityWhat song changed your life?
Norwegian Wood and Burnout. Burnout has given me a life one can only dream of. The song is bigger than me, South Africa loves that song; it is humbling.

BizcommunityTop of your bucket list?
I would love to go to Cuba and play a show.

BizcommunityYour greatest achievement?
Passing matric at 60.

BizcommunityWhat do you complain about most often?
Unreliable partnerships and apathy.

BizcommunityOn stage, I tend to?
Get nervous and intense.

BizcommunityWhere would you like to be right now?
Somewhere over the rainbow.

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About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse