Added to this, his 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.
“Hotstix” is a testament to the contribution to South Africa's music industry whose impact has been infused into the memory of a nation and whose creative passion evokes the emotions of history and the heart.
In 2018, “Hotstix” 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.”
Former president Kgalema Motlanthe wrote on Mabuse’s 70th birthday: "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."
Over three decades ago, Mabuse’s half-a-million-selling smash-hit single Burnout changed the face and shape of Afro-pop and township jive like no other song in the South African pop music history.
I recently caught up with Mabuse...
When children call me daddy, especially in Soweto.
It means a life of fulfilment.
When I forget the lyrics to a song.
All the honest living people.
An old South African rand (the R1 notes) signed by the late Nelson Mandela on his release from prison.
Martini and Lemonade.
Yesterday by the Beatles.
Any desert festival.
A student of anthropology.
Insecure. Purposeful. Magnanimous. Amorous. Loving. Sensitive.
These are songs that have influenced my thinking and what I do as an artist...
Beatles – Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown). This was the first song I learnt to play in my first band, The Beaters.
Bob Marley and the Wailers – Jonny Was
Babsy Mlangeni – Sala Emma
Johnny Clegg – Scatterlings of Africa
West Nkosi – Two Mabone. This is the song that inspired me to create Jive Soweto and Shikisha.
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) and Burnout. Burnout has given me a life one can only dream of. This song is bigger than me. South Africa love it and it is so humbling.
I would love to go to Cuba and play a show.
Passing matric at the age of 60.
Unreliable partnerships and apathy.
Sharing and caring with others.
Get nervous and intense.
Listen. Be respectful and humble.
Somewhere over the rainbow.