Welcome to Women’s Month!
Being a strong woman is an evergreen subject, one we often talk about in the CSA offices. What it means to be strong is often difficult to pin down, and always open for interpretation. Although it’s transcendent of so many things, (brave, bold, powerful, to name a few) being a strong woman also has a very particular feel to it, absolutely understood and definitely noticed by all.
Now, I have to profess that I’m not one for phony stunts and attention seeking gimmicks to make you different or get noticed, but what has been on my radar is a certain resurgence of the “bad girl”, who to me, has always brought a sense of intrigue and appeal. When I refer to a “Bad Girl”, I’m pointing out those women who come with a demanding attitude, the ones who seek to express their inner reality regardless of how the world sees their outer. They are more heroic, more vexing, more brave.The twelve women we chose to celebrate, all represent their own brand of fierce, bad girl attitude. And seeing that we work in the business of talent, all come with some sort of a talent; they’re artists with arguments to back it all up.
Our writer, Bianca Agenbag, kicks off the series with the First Lady of Motswako, Fifi Cooper, who believes in being original, and not relying on others to be successful. Moonchild Sanelle, the genre-bending poet, who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and Nomuzi Mabena, one charming lady with X-factor charisma like you wouldn’t believe.
We get the lowdown on the first lady of Motswako that believes in hustling, being original and not relying on others to be successful. No hype, no gimmick just a pure dose of good authentic music straight from the gut – Words: Bianca Agenbag
The Hip Hop firecracker burst onto the scene in 2010 with the release of her debut single “Chechella Marao” and has since become one of the most renowned femcees in the game with a full-length album, and various nominations and wins from both the MetroFM awards and the SAMAs.
Fifi’s love for Hip Hop was inspired by her roots in the township of Montshiwa in Mafikeng, where she grew up surrounded by the sounds of *Motswako. She represents where she comes from, and will be pushing the Maftown culture as hard as she can.
What sets this girl apart is her originality and talent. She puts her own spin on a the Motswako genre with an unpredictable, punchy style which can only be attributed to her powerful mix of seasoned vocal abilities and the rap skills of a hungry underground rapper who has a point to prove and knows how to fuse the two talents in order to deliver potent music.
In 2015 she released her debut album, titled 20FIFI, which she described as “100% FiFi Cooper” which made music history, when she became the first female artist to win a Metro FM award, and not just one but three, walking away with the Best Newcomer, Best Produced Album and Best Female Album at the 2015 Metro FM Music Awards.
When it comes to being successful, being female however, doesn’t change too much in Fifi’s mind. She attributes her success to hard work, patience and trusting in your own process. She feels that female rappers should take what they want. She feels that hard work is hard work whether you’re male or female and that women don’t deserve special treatment. The word female should only be relevant in describing their gender and that their craft have to be on par with the best of them.
*Motswako is a Southern African genre of hip hop most popular in Botswana and South Africa. It consists of a mix of rap lyrics in both the local language (Setswana) and English layered on a steady beat. Other languages used include Zulu, French and Afrikaans as per the rapper’s origin.
Nomuzi Mabena – Queen of the Skhanda movement
With killer lines, a captivating stage personality and her own brand of Hip Hop, this presenter, fashion icon and talented rapper is ready to build her empire
How do you get signed by Kid X’s record label, despite a lack of any music experience? You’ll need to be Nomuzi Mabena, better known as Moozlie, who comes with serious X factor, a captivating stage personality, quick wit, a unique look and unprecedented charisma. In fact, the same power points which won her MTV Base VJ Search and turned her into a fashion icon.
Adding hip-hop artist to her resume was simply a logical career move and one which broke the internet when she made her debut featuring in Kid X’s music video S7VEN with 100, 000 downloads in less than 12 hours. This was followed with countless collaborations with big names including DJ Speedsta and Da L.E.S, and most recently formed part of AKA’s all-female remix, “Baddest”.
But, she obviously wasn’t as far as AKA is concerned, saying: “If a female rapper is going to blow up this year, they’re going to have to be as good, not better than a really good male rapper. I have faith in Nomuzi. I trust she will put in the work to become the first LEGIT local female rap star.”
Asked whether she was worried about being a woman in a man’s world, we can tell you, no not at all: “We’re not in a place anymore where there’s no space for women. We have our own voice. Our own stories. And whether the guys like it or not, women are the backbone of our nation”.Clearly, nothing seems to be standing in the way of her and female self-expression and living her own inner reality, regardless of being a young artist and new to the game.
“My independence and really being in control of my own situation is my favourite thing right now”, she’s told The Plug in a recent interview, but we speculate that she’s more than in control, she’s brave and bold and proved it when she launched her own label, Nomuzi Mabena Music, under which she will release her debut later this year. We can’t wait.