Limpopo born Jazz, Afro Pop songstress Judith Sephuma has urged aspiring Jazz and Afro Pop singers in the province to aim higher and make it big in the music industry.
Sephuma who has been making great strides on the music scene over more than a decade, spoke to Polokwane Observer on Saturday evening after her performance at the Live it and Jazz it event in Polokwane.
â€œI want to see more artists from the province doing well in the jazz and afro genres and becoming better than me. My journey is my own. I believe there will be no other Judith, my job is to inspire other artists so that they can do better,â€ Sephuma said.
She stressed that artists should not give up on their dreams despite the inadequate support in the entertainment industry. â€œI remember when I was in the province for the Clash of Choirs Competition in 2012. There was an amazing group of talented singers and they were eager to learn and do well in the industry. We do not get lot of support and I want to urge them to make use of every given platform and also to believe in themselves and not let anyone hold them back,â€ Sephuma said, adding that she is looking forward to promote her new album, One Word, released in March this year. â€œIt is a 12-song New Afro Funk album. The songs are based on life, love and growth. It has songs sung in Sepedi, Zulu, Lingala, Portuguese and English,â€ Sephuma said.
Sephuma grew up in Polokwane and moved to Cape Town in 1994 to study Jazz Vocals after matriculating at Khaiso High School in Seshegoâ€™s Zone 3.
In 1997, she graduated from University of Cape Town with a Performerâ€™s Diploma in Jazz Performance. She then gained her Honours Degree in Jazz Performance, majoring in Jazz Singing, under the supervision of Mike Campbell. In 1999, while studying Jazz Singing, she was also classically trained by Virginia Davids for five years.
She has won several South African Music Awards, Kora All Africa Music Awards and Metro FM Music Awards.
In 1999 Sephuma was invited by Jimmy Dludlu to perform at former President of South Africa Thabo Mbekiâ€™s presidential inauguration in Pretoria.
In that year she also had the honour of meeting former president Nelson Mandela and sang a special song to him and his wife Graca Machel, at the Cape Sun hotel.