Briefly tell (talk to) Me about NTSIKWANE RAPHESU with regard to who she is and what she does as a creative person? Ntsikwane is a grounded yet curious person. She is a singer and songwriter that writes about the experiences and situations she sees around and within her. She’s curious about the Soul/Spirit that is carried by the human body and has made it point to ground everything she does in that Spirit.
You are an | AFRO-FOLK MUSICIAN | who talks about #self-awareness, #human connection, #music for healing, and #creative expression. how did you get hear or what made you to focus on the above? I have felt a sense of lack and emptiness for most of my life, not knowing where it came from or what to do to feel whole and complete. It is this emptiness that led me to think that there must be more to life than just existing. This led me down the path of spirituality. I read any and all material I could find on spirituality and that’s when I discovered that self awareness is the key to liberation from the pain and sadness that a lot of us suffer from. I share this discovery in my music.
Can you briefly tell us about your job (role) as a Musician with regard to your music within the society dominated by men? My music brings a feminine way of being to society. A lot of us are taught from a young age that hustling and pushing is the only way to achieve your dreams and goals. There is definitely a place for the hustle but there’s also the softer approach- which is moving in tune with the nature of life and how things are. We don’t always have to go against the tide to make things happen. We can do our part and allow divine timing to assist us in bringing things to life
I can see here that you studied BA (DRAMA), PERFORMING ARTS at the University of Pretoria, do you think the course prepared you well to become a good musician? Did you do your degree in order to earn a title of a MUSICIAN or it was just to enhance your skills in music and performance? I initially did not intend to drama. I fell into it by accident (or divine intervention). I was studying sports science at TUT, got injured at the trials for the under 19 national soccer team and had to been booked off for 6 month to recover from the injury.
In that 6 months I realized that I didn’t really want to study sports science. I asked my parents if I could change courses and they allowed. I wanted to study music at University of Pretoria but the course was already full so I enrolled for drama just to pass time and fell in love with acting and completed the degree. The skills I gained from studying drama definitely contributed to my stage presence as a musician. I learnt how to be disciplined and practice my craft daily.
Can you talk to me about your motivation and or inspiration in Music, what keeps you going? What skills do one requires to be able to work effectively and efficiently as a musician (effectively and successively)? Music is a calling for me. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing. My sheer love for the music is what keeps me going. I believe that this is the magic ingredient in everything you do in life – to love what you do. “If you love what you do you will be able to face and overcome the challenges that come along your way”.
How long have you been a musician, and when did you learn that your passion is in it? I started my music career in 2008. I was doing music part time and mainly focusing on acting and drama back then. I went full time into music in 2013, so that would make it 14 years in the industry. I grew up in a musical family and music was all around. I discovered my passion for music at a very young age but didn’t pursue it until I was older.
You have a Classic Album featuring the popular single ‘PULE’, who is “PULE” and what is the message behind the name (Pule)? The song is about a guy who is dating two women and gets married to the one without telling the other. This is something that we see happening a lot in our society today. Many women discover that their partners are married or getting married through social media. The message is for women to really get to know their partners and do their due diligence about their history.
“Ditaba tja batho” is one of your song, what is the meaning behind this title, does it really suggests that people should not involve themselves on the issues that does not require their expertise? ‘Ditaba tja batho’ is about not letting other people’s opinions about you get you down. We sometimes allow people into our lives who do not have the best intentions for us. The song is a warning to be aware.
‘SHOMA’ is a Sepedi word that means ‘WORK’. It’s an anthem for the hustlers, entrepreneurs and business owners, who are making things happen and adding value to the world. It’s inspiration to keep going through hard times and setbacks and a reminder that everything works out in the end. Did you have specific gender group in your mind when you performed/ produced and or created this song? I wrote this song at a time where my career felt stagnant. The song became encouragement for me to keep on moving forward even though it looked like things were not working out. I recorded for all those who’ve ever felt stuck in life, with hopes that they would find inspiration to carry on with their work despite the challenges.
‘BEREKA MOSADI’ is one of your songs which honors the work women do in society, and many a times goes unnoticed. Who are you speaking with here: (married, non-married, young girls) and why? ‘Bereka Mosadi’ speaks to all women young and old. The song reminds women of the power they possess to make a change for themselves and society in general. We live in a patriarchal society that does not afford women the same opportunities (and payment) as men and sometimes expects women to do double the work for less pay. With this song, I remind women that they are the source of all things. Nothing can flourish without the nurturing hands of women, included here is the successful men who run big corporate. “We all come from and were raised by women”.
You have also performed live at MTN”s women’s event, when was it and who were the other musicians featured in that event?. This was 2019 before the world changed due to the pandemic. I was the only live artist to perform and the event MC was the great Rami Chuene.
Is it TRUE that MUSICIANS find it easy to EXPRESS their feelings through music (art), and was this the case with yours? Yes, it’s true. Music is definitely the easiest way for us to express ourselves. Most musicians may not admit this but we are shy. Music makes it easy for us to say what we need to say.
I can see you are occupying the Managing Director role at both Eltara Concepts as well as in Dramatology Entertainment: why did you establish the above companies? I established the companies as a way to create work and income for myself while sharing my gifts and talents with the world. Dramatology was specifically established as a performing arts academy to nurture young talent in Limpopo.
Do you have any new initiative that is going to be released soon and or was released recently (What is it about, and who are the target audience there)? I have a new album coming out in October (2022) called ‘Lesedi’. As the name suggest, the album hopes to bring light in dark spaces and illuminate the spaces within us in need of healing and love. The album is for anyone who is going through or has just been through a transition in their lives and it gives hope for brighter days.
I think you were doing a great job at Bjatladi Youth Development Project as a Programme Mentor, why did you stop? I would have loved to continue there, but I believe the organization did not receive enough funding to continue with their work and so had to stop some of the activities they were doing.
Which qualities do you think makes a great (artist)? Authenticity and stage presence.
What is your advice to the aspiring (Musicians) artists? My advice for them would be to make sure that they are doing music for a bigger reason than fame and money. Yes these things are important but if they are the only reason they want to do music then they will not last. The music industry is not easy, having a clear vision for your music is important.