“My music is always a prayer” – Zweli Mthembu

If you have ever seen The Brother Moves On (TBMO) live then you know that the band is made up of phenomenally talented brothers gifted in the art of music. Zweli Mthembu is no exception so when he said he’d be keen to rock our stage, the only answer was ‘hell yeah!’


Join us at the Market Theatre Lab tomorrow as he introduces a brand new character, Yusuf Mokongela.

Who is Yusuf Makongela?
Yusuf Makongela is a guitarist, composer and singer whose calling is exploring and celebrating the human experience through music.

When did you know that music is what you wanted to do?
My mom says I was trying to make my own guitar from when I was a toddler. If we believe that story I guess I was always subconsciously gravitating there but as a career it was perhaps once I started playing with TBMO and learning to share my creations which were just a cathartic and necessary thing I did before then

Being a part of The Brother Moves On seems like quite an experience. Please tell us more about what it’s like working with the guys?
The Brother Moves On is a real brotherhood with all the passion, squabbling and love that holds such bonds together. When you play with people for as long as we have been playing together there develops a telepathic kind of communication especially musically so it’s great. We’ve also done so much touring together we know each other’s idiosyncrasies so we sort of know how to nurture our individual relationships through the cranky moments. None of us really knew what the band would become so it’s been a pleasant thrill for us and we’ve lived our crazy faux rock star phase together. The more we grow and become a bit more intentional individually, the more it teaches us the importance of communication because we have to somehow merge all our desires and creativity into one. It’s tricky but when it works it’s magical.

It seems Jozi’s live music scene is on the rise again, what does the independent music scene need in order for it to be sustainable?
I think it needs to become a community that is interdependent. Right now it functions through a miserly perspective where everyone is for themselves and relying on promoters still. In someways using the same model that the mainstream uses just with more ownership of material. I think the whole system needs to adapt and feel more like a cooperative with similar ideals. That way bands can co-own equipment and spaces and do their thing without constraints.

If you could curate the dopest line up for a music festival, which 5 local acts would you include?
My ideal line up for a festival, this is a tough one:
The Brother Moves On | Leomile | PG13 | Follow Me Follow You | Savage Lucy

What would you like audiences to take away from your performance on Saturday?
My music is always a prayer and I hope that people can feel like they are not separate from that prayer. That feeling of oneness is important however brief.



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