"It's a gem...in turn relaxed, loping and out-there wiggy, full of lovely textures from a range of instrumental collaborators (guitars, flutes, brass, keyboards, dobro, bass etc - but always held in tasteful check) and co-vocalists including Busi Mhlongo...glorious music which is simultaneously familiar and refreshing."
Folk Roots magazine
From South Africa to Brixton to the Bronx, Mabi Thobejane is an artist
who has travelled the world in search of musical and spiritual freedom.
His debut album, entitled Madiba is the culmination of a twenty-year
struggle for self-expression. It is intensely personal but an
ultimately positive album that proves Mabi to be one of South Africa's
most brilliant and exhilarating percussionists. Madiba (Father of the
Nation) is an affectionate name for Nelson Mandela, who has been a
major inspiration for Mabi as an embodiment of the fighting spirit.
Born in Mamelodi, South Africa in 1948, Mabi's life has been haunted by
apartheid. However he now feels he has been creatively reborn, with
Madiba being the first and significant step towards that. From an early
age Mabi favoured the drums, discovering how to truly hear music from
the tone of a beat. It was through his uncle Philip Tabene, that Mabi
began his road to musical freedom. Tabene took Mabi on tour in the USA
as his drummer where they both decamped to Harlem. It was here that
Mabi experienced the sounds of Miles Davies, an influence that has
remained with him throughout his life. He returned to South Africa but
found the oppressive regime obstructed what few chances he had to work.
Even though he worked with many musicians and groups it was not until
the 90's that Mabi started to find an outlet for the sounds that had
stayed with him from the Bronx.
This solo album features an illustrious cast including Byron Wallen,
Robert 'Doc' Mthalane, Busi Mhlongo, Madala Kunene, Jessica Lauren,
Dizu and Lungiswa Plaatjies, Changuito a.o. - reflecting the high
calibre of Mabi's playing.
Track Listing (30 Second Samples)
1. THABO feat. Robert Doc Mthalane, Byron Walllen, Busi Mhlongo
2. SIDUDLA feat. Sammy Madi, Sipho Mabuza, Philani Ngidi, Madala Kunene Busi Mhlongo and Mpumi Mabuza (Mhlongo)
3. SEGWAGWA feat Robert Doc Mthalane & Dizu Plaatjies
4. THABO TANDO NICO feat Robert Doc Mthalane & Byron Wallen
5. DOM PASS
feat Sammy Madi, Philani Ngidi, Gary Budd, Sipho Mabuza, Jessica Lauren, Madala Kunene, Zim Ngqwana, Busi Mhlongo & Mpumi Mabuza (Mhlongo)
6. SHAPEDI feat Byron Wallen, Nkululeko Ludonga, Dizu Plaatjies, Lungiswa Plaatjies, Nomfundo Mayekiso, Robbie Geerken and Mayito
7. ECONOMY feat Sammy Madi, Ike Leo,, Madala Kunene, Max Laesser, Jessica Lauren, Changuito,, Lungiswa Plaatjies Nomfundo Mayekiso
8. MOTHER feat Robert Doc Mthalane, Philani Ngidi, Busi Mhlongo & Mpumi Mabuza (Mhlongo)
9. MADIBA (NELSON MANDELA) (PART 1) feat Changuito, Byron Wallen, Jessica Lauren, Lungiswa Plaatjies, Mzawandile Qotoyi, Dizu Plaatjies & Mayito
10. GAE-WAY HOME Mayito, Tony Remy, Madala Kunene, , Ben Watkins, Otto the Barbarian & Busi Mhlongo
11. MADIBA (NELSON MANDELA) (PART2) feat Madala Kunene, Jessica Lauren, Airto Moreira, Byron Wallen, Mayito and Busi Mhlongo
12. WORKSHOP feat Byron Wallen, Jessica Lauren, Vusi Khumalo, Madala Kunene, Tony Remy, Robert Trunz, Mzwandile Qotoyi, Dizu Plaaatjies, Simpiwe Matole,, Nkululekho Ludonga, Philani Ngidi, Fana Zulu, Lungiswa Plaatjies, Prince Lengosa and Zim Ngqwana