#MEX Music Exchange Interview South Africa

#MusicExchange: Simphiwe Dana brings back Moya to the Artscape Theatre

Creative songwriter, singer and social activist Simphiwe Dana is excited to announce the return of Moya at the Artscape Theatre in The Mother City later this month.
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Directed by artistic director and choreographer Gregory Maqoma, Moya will be staged at the Artscape Theatre on 26 and 27 January 2024, with a creative fusion of contemporary African dance and movement by the dynamic dancers of Vuyani Dance Theatre.

What is your purpose?

To leave the world a much better place than how I found it.

What does music mean to you?

Music is proof that the God entity exists.

My music is about…

Embracing and understanding the human condition.

What is your motto?

In being there for others, do not forget that you matter too.

Fame is about…

Being put on a pedestal, deservedly or undeservedly. What you do with it can be game-changing.

Retirement will happen when…

When I have grandkids to take care of.

I don't do…

Small talk.

I would love to co-write with...


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Where do you go for inspiration to create?

I go into my home studio.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

Being on stage is absolutely the best part.

The song you must do during every show?


Any funny moments on stage?

I once tripped on a monitor and fell.

My heroes are…

Miriam Makeba, Mercedes Soda and Busi Mhlongo.

My style icon is…

The women from the African villages.

What makes you stand out?

My off the tangent perspectives on life.

Any nicknames?

Sim, Simz.

If you were not a musician, what would you do?

Though I don’t see myself without music, if I had to, I’d be a writer.

Pick five words to describe yourself?

I asked someone and this is what they said: Intense, intelligent, eccentric, socially awkward, politically savvy.

Five must-have songs on your Spotify playlist, please.

Any song from these artists: Mercedes Sosa, Mariza Buika, Salif Keita, Toumani Diabate

Greatest movie ever made?

Inglorious Basterds.

What book are you reading?

None at the moment. I’m on holiday.

What song changed your life?

Jerry by Dorothy Masuka.

Who do you love?

My entire family.

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What is your favourite word?


Top of your bucket list?

Travel and work the world over.

Your greatest achievement?

Writing music that is evergreen.

What do you complain about most often?

South African politics.

What is your biggest fear?


Happiness is…

Being loved, warts and all.

On stage, I tend to…

Switch between being very self-conscious and forgetting myself completely.

The best life lesson you have learned?

Be selfish with your time when it comes to self-care. You can’t be there for others if you can’t be there for yourself.

What has been your favourite journey so far?

Definitely Moya

Do you do charity work, and if you do – what do you do?

At the moment I’m taking a break from activism and focusing on myself. But my record speaks for itself.

Wishes and dreams?

Good health.

About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse
Let's do Biz