By Melba Kaure
Windhoek – Hard work, staying true to who you are and believing in yourself is the mantra that South African singer Ringo Madligozi lives by.
The legendary afro-jazz singer, who last performed in Namibia in 1991, was in Windhoek where he performed at the annual Windhoek Jazz Festival held at the Independence Stadium last Friday, November 4.
The Southern Times spoke to him on his career and how he has managed to stay relevant over more than two decades in the industry.
“Music has changed from when I started singing but I don’t change my identity. I don’t change the content, but I change the sound. I sing about emotions that are always there such as love, unity, togetherness and basically brotherhood and sisterhood. I always sing about the beauty of a woman, her eyes, and the way she talks, walks, as well as the way that she loves.”
“I sing about what most men would love to say to their women and most men always say to me look hey you’re putting pressure on us,” he said with a chuckle.
When quizzed on how it feels to have one of his sons, actor and singer Phila Madlingozi, following in his footsteps, Ringo said when his son first got into music he had a lengthy talk with him explaining how the industry works.
“I first told him that this is a dog-eat-dog world, it is not a very beautiful world to be in but if you think you are strong enough to stand on your two feet and be your own man go for it. He has proved me wrong and showed me that ‘hey, look I will do it’ and he did it without being in my shadow.
“All I do is encourage him to be himself and to do what he wants, after all he is part of me and I am part of him.”
From his debut solo release, ‘Vukani’, in 1996 to his latest offering, ‘Qhubeka’, Cape Town-born Madlingozi has carved out a niche for himself as an artist, and has become one of South Africa’s most celebrated performers.
When it comes to his greatest achievement the ‘Sondela’ hit maker said his greatest achievement is the fact that he is still able to sing and pull large crowds as well as still being relevant in a time where many older singers have been forgotten.
Many of Ringo’s studio albums have reached multi-platinum and gold status, gaining him numerous local and international awards, which include the South Africa Music Awards (SAMAs), KORA and other awards on the African continent.
This soulful legend has performed in many European countries, and has collaborated with various international artists, including UB40. He has conquered almost all the parts of our continent and aspires to initiate collaborations that are meant to unite Africans in song.
It seems there is no stopping Ringo, even with the current new trends in music, the soulful singer is still one of the most sought-after artists in Southern Africa.
After seeing his energy and the love for his music at the jazz festival it was no surprise to hear fans, both young and old, singing along to his songs at the festival.