Date:05 December 2016 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
An Afro-soul singer, Mphuzi Chauke, is quickly making a name for himself in the music industry. The release of his début album, entitled Vuyani (Please come back), is an achievement that comes after many years of public performances.
A resident of Maphophe village, Chauke attended Maphophe Community School and was named the best student from Malamulele East district when he passed Standard 5 in 1983.
“I was very bright at school and got position one in all my grades,” he said. “After completed Standard 10 (Grade 12), I spent three years working as an unqualified teacher at Maphophe Community School.”
Chauke made his first guitar from a 5-litre tin of Castrol Oil and fishing line. He taught himself to play that home-made guitar. “I was heavily influenced by the likes of Thomas Chauke, General MD Shirinda, Samson Mthombeni and others,” he said. “I started writing music while at university in the 1990s but formed my first band while overseas in 2005.”
He believes that music is a powerful means to unite people. “In Africa we use music all the time,” he said. “When we are sad, we sing, and we also sing when we are happy. To me music should meet three objectives: it must entertain, inform and educate. It must bring hope to the hopeless and it must uplift someone's spirit. That's what I am trying to achieve with my music.”
The song Mhani Loyi (This wonderful woman) stands as women's favourite song. “In this song I celebrate the role women play in men's lives,” he said. “Many times people take it for granted when they see men looking good, with clean, shining shoes and gaining a bit of weight, but it is because of this wonderful woman at home who takes care of him.”
With Vuyani, Chauke celebrates South Africa's freedom fighters who left home at the break of dawn and at night to go fight for freedom. “Some of them died and their graves are even unknown,” he said. “In this song I indicate that, now that the freedom has been attained, it is time to come back and help rebuild the country.”
He holds a BSc in Civil Engineering and MSc in Civil Engineering from University of Cape Town. “I further obtained a BCom in Transport Economics with the University of South Africa,” he said. “While in the UK I also studied for PGCE in Secondary Mathematics with London South Bank University.”
Chauke performs at the Mapungubwe Jazz Festival on 17 December in Polokwane. “It is a dream come true to be sharing the stage with Thomas Chauke, Colbert Mukwevho, Angelique Kidjo and Caiphus Semenya,” he mused. “I am very excited about this and it shows that Limpopo is beginning to realise that they also have world-class musicians of the calibre of Oliver Mtukudzi and Ismael Lo. Ironically, people call me the South African Oliver Mtukudzi."
Afro-soul singer Mphuzi Chauke.
By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.