The lead artist is Siyabulela Bhele Jiyana, known as the people’s percussionist and founder of the band Matimba. The band agreed to profile the event with the focus on the people’s percussionist, Sabu Jiyana.

Siyabulela Bhele Jiyana (hereto referred to as Sabu) is from KwaLanga Township in Cape Town South Africa. He is a multi-instrumentalist, musical practitioner and co-founder of South African groups namely Matimba (2016), Addis Ababa Ensemble (2012) and Abavuki (2001). He completed his post-graduate studies in music performance at the University of Cape Town South Africa, College of Music. Sabu’s musical career spans over seventeen (17) years with performance across Europe and Africa. In 2016, he started a solo project named “Matimba” which means strength in Xitsonga.

Sabu finds his inspiration from Afrika, its diverse cultures, its dynamics and those spearheading Afrikan music such as Dizu Plaaitjies (with whom he performed and travelled internationally) Fela Kuti, Miriam Makeba and Salief Keita. His music aims to give an Afrikan history lesson; provoke the minds of audiences, while preserving Afrikan stories, indigenous instruments and Afrikan languages.

Jiyana’s notable Performances & Achievements with bands he founded and as support artist:

  • 2018: Zabalaza Theatre Festival in Cape Town (Matimba)
  • 2018: Festival of Ideas in Langa (Matimba)
  • 2017: Performed at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia (Abavuki & Kelele )
  • 2017: Performed at Rocking the Daisies Marabi stage (Matimba)
  • 2016: Co-wrote with Jen Johns for her album. Won Best Musical Director at the Zabalaza Festival
  • 2015: Recorded for a Fiat Motor commercial
  • 2015: Performed at the World Music and Food Festival in Bangkok (Ibuyambo)
  • 2015: Performed at the following festivals in Europe: Ethnoport (Poland), Respekt fest (Czech Republic), Oeral fest (Holland), Hout fest (Holland), Fusion fest (Germany), Afrika fest (Holland), Somer van Antwerpen fest (Belgium), Colours of Ostrava (Czech Republic), Festival der Kulturen (Germany), Okarina fest (Slovenia), Folkveprazdniny (Czech Republic), Bardentreffen (Germany). (Abavuki)
  • 2014: Created two ringtones for Nokia as part of the Cape Town Design capital campaign
  • 2014: Selected for WOMEX 2014 (Abavuki)
  • 2014: Played at the Marimba festival in Chiapas
  • 2012: Played in Oman, invited by the Sultan – with Dizu Plaatjies and his Ibuyambo Ensemble
  • 2012: Invited to play and do master classes in Mexico at the Chiapas University, and played at the Chiapa Marimba Festival
  • 2010: Performed for 2 months on the Viking Lines ferry between Finland and Sweden. (Abavuki)
  • Won the Arts Cape indigenous arts competition (Abavuki)
  • 2005: Played at the market theatre for the announcement of Nelson Mandela’s nomination for the World Children’s Prize (imizamo)
  • 2003 and 2004: Played at the World’s Children’s Prize Award ceremony for the Queen of Sweden (Imizamo)

Discography

  • 2012: Decade (Abavuki)
  • 2009: Africa got soul (Abavuki)
  • 2006: Live in China (Abavuki)
  • 2002: African Rhythms (Abavuki)
  • 2016: Azania (Jennifer Johns)