THE MAHOTELLA QUEENS - A SOUTH AFRICAN LEGEND
Amid the plethoria of packaged popsters that are deemed worthy of VIP
treatment, stands a timeless trio that truly deserves the status of musical royalty!
South Africa´s legendary Mahotella Queens: Hilda Tloubatla, Nobesuthu Mbadu and Mildred Mangxola are indeed queens - The Mahotella Queens - 3 doyennes, who since the mid-sixties, have been singing, dancing and selling-out shows worldwide. What makes them so special ... ?
Maybe 40-plus years of performing together, that makes it seem that these sisters have been doing it forever ... Theirs is not the artificially manufactured majesty of mass hype; instead it is innovation, hard work, perseverance and sheer musical magic that qualify them to wear crowns.
The Queens have been touringaround the globefor almost 50 years. Their successful summer tour in 2012 included concerts in Hyde Park during the Jubilee Celebrations for THE QUEEN. 2013 saw the Queens return to Europe for another summer tour:
Together with the ‘Makhona Tsothle Band’, and the late, great, bass "groaner", Mahlatini, they invented “Mbaqanga” - a potent mix of various South African and imported styles - an explosive sound; intimately regional yet widely universal, which not only changed the course of music in their country, but continues to captivate the world.
With the warmth of captivating songs and energetic dance routines, they carved their path through the 1960's, and across the ‘70’s triumphantly, setting international stages alight by the mid-‘80’s, well into the ‘90’s…. and onwards….
When asked how many recordings they’ve released, Hilda responds with:
“Whooo! …it’s too much…from our first hit in ’64 ‘til now… I can’t even estimate!”
1997 saw their final performance as the full band, because a series of tragedies struck. In 1998, on the very day they buried West Nkosi, a key member and coproducer who was killed in a car crash, their lead guitarist Marks Mankwane died. And finally, when their famed counterpart, Simon”Mahlathini” Nkabinde died in 1999 after a lengthy illness, the Queens stopped singing and resigned themselves to retirement.
But spurred on by the hope of keeping Mahlathini's spirit alive, the trio returned, as undivided as always - together taking up the torch they illuminated their future, affirming their individual skills as soloists, songwriters and arrangers.