THE MEANING BEHIND CAMAGWINI'S GEAR | Flat base decoded
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THE MEANING BEHIND CAMAGWINI'S GEAR

 

Barely a bit over 7 years after releasing her first album, ethno-soul musician Camagwini, is becoming a force to be reckoned with on the local music scene, a fact that can, in part, be attributed to the image she has cultivated. Her singing abilities may not be as legendery as Afro-soul queen, Thandiswa Mazwai's but the way she presents herself to music fanatics wherever she goes, is overwhelming.Camagwini was born Siphokazi Buti, but her deep interest in traditional Xhosa songs got her a stage name ‘Camagwini’ at a tender age. The name reflects Africans’ connection to ancestral worshipOver the past few years, the now 26-year old has found a winning recipe that complements ethno-soul music with a captivating, traditionally -influenced style.

Camagwini, proudly showcases her Xhosa culture and stops at nothing to make her presents felt. Her performances and music videos portray a seasoned traditional healer, usually decorated with colorful beads, a long beaded pipe, luscious dreadlocks, a painted face and no shoes on her feet.  “This has made me stand out as an individual. The long pipe Umbheka-phesheya was given to me by my late grandmother and I wear the face paintings because umakhulu [grandmother] used to wear them. It’s my connection to her after her passing,” comments Camagwini. The colors also have deeper meanings to the songstress.

“White represents peace, yellow is for my spirituality and it also calms me down. Blue represents the river; you can’t be a spiritual healer without having a strong connection with water. Navy Blue represents an aggressive river and orange is my personal gift to our forefathers - they like colorful things. ”Camagwini’s compositions weave interesting stories about African culture. Last year, her debut album, Zivile, earned her two nominations at the South African Music Awards (SAMAs) for Best Newcomer and Best African Contemporary Album, as well as a Channel O Music Video Award nomination. “I always sing proudly about African beauty, my experiences and spirituality. I don’t like singing about obvious things. I share my spirituality with people through song in hope that it will help them open up to theirs.

"To date, Camagwini has performed locally and internationally, sharing stages with the likes of Angelique Kidjo, Puff Johnson, Tania Maris, Asa, Busi Mhlongo and Hugh Masekela. Just as important as good branding is to business, so too is branding vital to a musician, and I’m happy to see our local artists finally grasping the concept."


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