Former Public Protector Thuli Mandonsela                   Pic: Dumisani Dube


Percussionist extraordinaire Oupa Segwai is beating a different drum.

He has recently released a single dedicated to former Public Protector Dr Thuli Madonsela.

The veteran musician has teamed up with Alec “Om” Khaoli – another experienced hand in the business – to produce what promises to be a popular single.

Interestingly, the release of the song coincides with the start of the State of Capture judicial inquiry, which was a recommendation by Madonsela.

Though Segwai intends to ultimately produce a seven track album, he says the release of Thuli, as the single is entitled, was in line to honour the former Public Protector for the sterling work she did in her previous role.

Segwai is a former member of afro rock group of the 70s Harari.

He says it was important to compose and sing about our heroes especially while they were still alive.

“Only those who fear the truth would want to question how Thuli performed in her role as Public Protector.

“Very few can deny that out of all the Public Protectors we’ve had, she is the one who really brought back the respect to the Chapter 9 institution through her jurisprudence.

“She deserves our praises whilst still alive,” says Segwai

He says he had conceptualized the song in 2016 – at the height of Madonsela’s reign as Public Protector.

And little did he know at the time his idea would create foes for him.

“Some of the comrades with big pockets that I approached would not want to touch Madonsela with a barge pole. I was really perplexed but not discouraged,’ he says.

But with his determination and perseverance Segwai had to fork out money from his own pocket to record the song.

The single Thuli is a mixture of Afro rock and funk with a strong bass line but in a modern interpretation.

Both Om and Segoai’s deft touches can be heard in the song, which is likely to see heads nod and hips gyrate.

The song is also complimentary of other organizations who are in the forefront in the fight against corruption like Corruption Watch.

In the song Segwai warns those involved in “robbing the poorest of the poor” to take note that they are being watched.

‘Basoba tsotsi uThuli uzokodonsela,’ he warns.

Bringing a damper to Segwai, however, is that Madonsela has not yet had time to listen to the song, a link of which was sent to her some two months ago.

Her spokesman Ike Dlamini said she has not been able to hear the song because of her tight schedule.

“As soon as she has time she will definitely give it an ear,’ he said.

Speaking about the project, Om, as Khaoli is popularly known, said it was a pleasure working with Segwai on this single.

“He reminded me of the good old days. He is a pro through and through and we hope the listener will enjoy the work,” said Khaoli.

Om has produced yesteryear hits like Brown Sugar, Onketsang etc.

Though widely known as a Harari band member, Segwai had subsequently formed another band called Kabasa in the early 80s.

The band, unfortunately, folded in less than five years having released two solid albums that are still being sought after even today.

The songs enjoyed rave reviews overseas in Germany, Canada, Netherlands and America.

But for now, Thuli, here’s to you, says Segwai.

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