Poet and singer Ntsiki Mazwai is ready to launch her newest album, "The Masterpiece" come Freedom Day, April 27.
The launch will be at the Soweto Theatre from 8pm.
Speaking to HuffPost, Ntsiki said she chose to launch her latest offering on Freedom Day because a big part of the album is political and socially conscious.
"As a poet of my generation that represents the voices of the people, there are conversations that I want to start unpacking that necessitated the launch taking place on this day."
"One of the issues that come up is black diamonds. There's a line in one of my songs that says 'they want us to applaud them for being black diamonds, but they don't question the lack of melanin'. There are all these dynamics that come with capitalism dividing people to black diamonds, special blacks and other kinds of blacks that we know exist. I unpack some of that on the album.
"In my song 'Ghetto' I address the issue of these seemingly Westernised kids that we have raised. In that song, I'm simply saying, take those kids back to the ghetto, so they can be reminded of their roots and humanity and learn the values of Africanness. I encourage parents to teach their kids the holy trinity which is the mother, the father and the children. There's so much indoctrination; even spirituality and religion comes in, because we've been taught it's the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – which I believe completely erases women. It's time we go back to African values," she said.
Ntsiki said her album not only raises important political issues, but also features songs about girly stuff, like boys and love.
But she said it also speaks to black identity, death, rape and ancestry.
"I'm a girl, so boys always feature wherever I go. So on this album, there are songs about love as well as the grey areas of love. One of the songs I wrote speaks to situations where women fight each other when a man is cheating. I speak to the woman, telling on her and urging her to tell her man to behave," Ntsiki said.
She said the studio work of the album started on October 21, 2017.
"Although it only took months to put together, a lot of the work and the spiritual preparations including the life lessons – going broke and losing everything – happened over years before, culminating in this moment. That's why I don't release so often [her last album was in 2013], because as an artist I believe that you have to give yourself time to go through all the traumas and heartbreak," she told HuffPost.
Politics according to Ntsiki:
Ntsiki said her instincts purely inform her often unpopular stance on politics.
"My instincts say 'oh I like this', or 'no I don't like this' – so a lot of my opinions are based on just instincts," she said.
She said although her opinions make her unpopular, she does not worry about what people think of her.
"My need to accept myself is greater than my need to be accepted by others. That's why I'd rather stick by myself and by what I believe in, than have to abandon myself just so that other people are comfortable. That would mean I'm not living Ntsiki, but somebody else.
"I believe we all owe it to ourselves to be whoever we want to be. If the next person does not like it, then tough for them," Ntsiki said.
She has a strong belief that black consciousness is important in this generation, with a need to bridge the gap between this and Steve Biko's generation.
"That voice is missing, and black identity issues need to be addressed – which is what I also bring across in this album," she said.
In her song, "Enemy", Ntsiki points fingers at government.
"This song looks at how the government seems to be serving itself, as opposed to serving the people," she said.
She said although she thinks that her stance on politics – and the politics of her industry – sometimes stop her receiving opportunities she'd want, she has learnt to stick to what she knows.
"I've also learnt that you have to stick to what you believe in, and that if something is meant to be, it will come back. I have been through that already, where some people tried to buy me for political things, to which I said 'hell no'. Then I went broke and felt so bad for saying no, but it took a year – and the same people came back to support me for what I am. I'm glad I said no, because it showed integrity," Ntsiki said.
Regarding the future , Ntsiki said: "I's so beautiful."
"I'm trying to make all this money so I can go live on my farm and just garden all day, and my music must just earn money. I'm aiming for passive income so I can go on and do other things – that's my game plan," she said.
Tickets to the album launch are available on the Soweto Theatre website at R120 and R150 at the door.
Copies of the album will be available for sale at R100.