Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
If You've Been Waiting for It to Get There, 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Is Now Streaming on Netflix If You've Been Waiting for It to Get There, 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Is Now Streaming on Netflix Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? Nick Cannon Gets Behind New Live-Action Musical Series, 'Make It Pop,' for Upcoming TV Season Nick Cannon Gets Behind New Live-Action Musical Series, 'Make It Pop,' for Upcoming TV Season A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Black Actors Are in Demand: Aunjanue Ellis Books Female Lead Role in ABC's FBI Drama-Thriller 'Quantico' Black Actors Are in Demand: Aunjanue Ellis Books Female Lead Role in ABC's FBI Drama-Thriller 'Quantico' MSNBC is Changing Its Tune and Rev Al Is Getting Bumped MSNBC is Changing Its Tune and Rev Al Is Getting Bumped Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Watch Inspiring Short Video About South African Opera Singer Pumeza Matshikiza

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act June 22, 2013 at 12:10PM

So continuing with my weekend series of inspiring video shorts about black musicians who are breaking boundaries and “thinking outside the box”, here’s number two of three.
4
 Pumeza Matshikiza

So continuing with my weekend series of inspiring video shorts about black musicians who are breaking boundaries and “thinking outside the box”, here’s number two of three.

Today we focus on opera singer Pumeza Matshikiza who has just signed a recording contact with the major classical music label Decca Classics, who, in turn, has produced a short video in which Ms. Matshikiza goes back to the townships of Cape Town, South Africa where she was born and raised to talk about her very humble beginnings.

In a recent interview, she talked about the journey of her life, participating in anti-apartheid demonstrations when she was a very young child, even being attacked by the police with tear gas. She even witnessed people being “necklaced” (tires filled with gasoline placed around a person’s neck and being set on fire) right in front of her.

She started singing in church choirs along with her mother, but when she heard her first opera on the radio as a teenager, that’s when her life changed. As she said:  "I didn't know anything about opera, but when I found that channel, I started to listen to it because it was so beautiful. After that I listened to that station almost every evening."

But her teachers and peers convinced her that there was no future in classical music and she actually was planning to become a surveyor at first, but stuck to her dreams and studied voice at the University of Cape Town.

She got a job performing in a puppet show and the producer of the show was so impressed with her voice that he convinced her to apply to the Royal College of Music in London which she did and was immediately accepted.  

The rest is history. 

She is currently under contract to the Stuttgart Opera and performs in other opera houses and recitals all over the world, attracting the attention of Decca Classics who quickly signed her up.

However, one major decision which Ms. Matshikiza made was in refusing to change her name after moving to the UK, on the suggestion of some people. As she says: “If they can learn to pronounce (Russian opera singers) Elena Obraztsova, Dmitri Hvorostovski and Galina Vishnevskaya (..or even Anna Netrebko for that matter to add another Russian opera singer’s name) they will learn to say Matshikiza.”

But she’s not alone. There are other South African opera singers who are making major names for themselves such as Pretty Yende (who shared the same vocal coach in South Africa with Ms. Matshikiza) who is already the toast of the Met Opera in New York, the Vienna State Opera and elsewhere, and who currently has, according to major music critic Norman Lebrecht “every major classical label running after her with open mouths and chequebooks.”

And there’s also soprano Tsakane Valentine Maswanganyi, who is currently with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, who grew up in Soweto South Africa and has talked openly about the hardships growing up there as a young child.

All these musicians, like the sixth grade heavy metal band Unlocking the Truth I wrote about yesterday, are following their own paths; and though they have been written about in the mainstream media, they are still literally ignored by the editors of black media.

The reason being is, in the case of the opera singers, that they’re African which means they’re “foreign,” and like Truth, they all refuse to be “put in a box” and even worse “they’re not doing what black people are supposed to be doing.”

But we have no problem with that here.

Here’s the short about Ms. Matshikiza:


Shadow & ActNewsletter