Thandiswa Mazwai's highly anticipated fourth studio album, "Sankofa," is out now.
Thandiswa Mazwai's highly anticipated fourth studio album, "Sankofa," is out now.

Thandiswa Mazwai Drops New Album and Talks About its Meaning

Thandiswa Mazwai’s highly anticipated fourth studio album, Sankofa, is now available on all major streaming platforms. Known for her profound lyrics and powerful performances, Mazwai explores themes of healing, reclamation, and political dissatisfaction in this new release.

Two tracks, “Emini” and “Kunzima,” stand out as they reflect on shattered hopes and freedoms in the face of governmental shortcomings, especially poignant during the lead-up to national elections.

Thandiswa Mazwai's new album out now.
Thandiswa Mazwai Drops Latest Album “Sankofa”.

Throughout her illustrious career spanning since 1996, Mazwai has been a trailblazer in post-apartheid South Africa, captivating audiences worldwide with her electrifying performances. To mark the release of Sankofa, she will be hosting shows in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town.

The title of the album, “Sankofa,” is derived from the Ghanaian Twi word meaning ‘to go back and fetch what has been left behind.’ Mazwai’s creative process for this album has indeed embodied this concept, taking her on a sonic journey from the ancient villages of the Eastern Cape to Dakar and New York.

Recorded across Johannesburg, Dakar, and New York, Sankofa seamlessly blends archival Xhosa samples, jazz, and West African music. Produced by a stellar lineup including Meshell Ndegeocello, Chris Bruce, Nduduzo Makhathini, Tendai Shoko, and Thandiswa herself, the album also features collaborations with Thandi Ntuli and Nduduzo Makhathini.

Mazwai shares her inspiration for the album: “Within those ancient rhythms and polyrhythms, a common lexicon revealed itself to me, and I am excited to share this music with those who have been growing and evolving with me.”

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The recording process was deeply rooted in Mazwai’s exploration of archival Xhosa music, reflecting on her heritage, and drawing from her experiences. Sankofa serves as a celebration of the pan-African spirit, healing old wounds, and embracing collective lineage.

The album’s themes of healing, reclamation, and political dissatisfaction are underscored by Mazwai’s introspective songwriting. Each track offers a unique perspective on the complexities of contemporary South African society and the broader African diaspora.

Mazwai also offers insights into the meaning behind some of the album’s standout tracks:

  • “Sabela”: A reflection on purpose and destiny.
  • “Biko Speaks”: An exploration of the challenges of black emancipation.
  • “Emini” and “Kunzima”: Commentary on the failures of political leadership.
  • “Dogon” and “With Love to Makeba”: Homage to African spirituality and cultural icons.
  • “Kulungile” and “Children of the Soil”: Songs of healing and resilience.
Thandiswa Mazwai
Thandiswa Mazwai

Listen Now

To experience the magic of “Sankofa,” click here to find your stream and listen to the album now.

Live in Action

To catch Mazwai live in action, you can click here to buy ticets for her show at Carnival City on May 11. The show has been supported by South African Music Performance Rights Association (SAMPRA)

Thandiswa will also bring Sankofa to the Durban Playhouse on May 31, click here to buy tickets.

If you’re in Cape Town, you can catch her at the Artscape Theathre on July 20, buy your tickets here.

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