Bongeziwe Mabandla Opens Up About His Quest For Love

by | Feb 22, 2016 | Entertainment, Kulture, Latest, Profile | 0 comments

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Award-winning soul singer, Bongeziwe Mabandla, gets candid about his search for love, and how a recent heartbreak inspired his upcoming album, Mangaliso.

By: Thanduxolo “Thandz” Buti
All Photos by: Ultimate DOT Pictures

Since releasing his debut album Umlilo, in 2012, Bongeziwe Mabandla’s music has managed to penetrate the highly competitive international market.

He has toured Japan, Europe, Canada, the USA (United States of America), and recently Australia. The soul crooner has even shared the stage with Grammy award-winner, Joss Stone, who instantly became a fan.

He cites this as his second highlight, with the first being his debut album, Umlilo, scoring two nominations at the 2013 South African Music Awards (SAMAs), and performing during the live show, on SABC 1.

For someone who had a shaky launch into the music scene, the Eastern Cape-born star seems to have found his place.

“I feel like I have accomplished a lot of things as a South African musician. I am making music, I am being heard, I have an audience, and that has always been the dream,” he says with a grin.

With his highly anticipated second album, to be titled Mangaliso, due out this year, Bongeziwe seems content. He attributes his undeniable glow to the new music, which he says, allowed him to peel away some of his layers and discover his true essence.

Bongeziwe on discovering his true essence. [Photo by: Ultimate Dot Pictures]

“Lately, I find myself enjoying moments of solitude, or being with my family,” he tells Blacklight.

“Such moments have gone a long way in nurturing the love that sustains me daily.

“It helps me love myself not because of success or sales, but because I am human.”

Classified as a soul musician, Bongeziwe usually strays from the obvious romantic lyrics and opts to sing about social issues, instead.

He reveals that he was in love when he began creating his upcoming album, and the feeling filtered its way into the music.

Mangaliso, the first single, chronicles his continued search for love.

“The song is about falling in love and finding someone who makes you feel alive.

“When I was in love, that was the only time when even music didn’t matter,” he shares.

Bongeziwe says the album also covers other themes, like loneliness, isolation, self –love and spirituality.

“I love that it looks at love holistically and does not just focus on romance. You know being alone is also love, and it takes a lot of love to be alone,” he laughs.

When the relationship ended, Bongeziwe says he was reluctant to use music as a channel to purge his emotions. He jokes that he didn’t want to create another Adele record.

“I was very resentful and I was afraid of making a bitter album,” he explains.

Even though he was sceptical about using his music to help him overcome the tumultuous period, in the end, it proved to be a great remedy for his heart and soul.

“What I love about music is that it’s opened me up to see myself in different ways that I never have before.

“Despite the loneliness, it forced me to accept and love myself, gradually. Now, I aspire to get to a place of complete self-love, but it’s a long journey to get there.”

As now a self-proclaimed advocate of love, Bongeziwe says he does not just want to sing about it, he wants to live it.

“I believe love can hurt you and heal you. Expressing your emotions can be liberating but it’s also dangerous.

“My love for love comes from my mother because she always embodied the essence of it [love].

“She was very expressive and not afraid of showing us affection. I now realise that I had a good example of what real love feels and looks like,” he adds.

Now a single man, he is intent on finding love, but this time he is not willing to compromise himself in the process.

He boldly states that even though he is yearning to relive the experience, he is aware that love can be a double-edged sword.

“I believe love can hurt you and heal you. Expressing your emotions can be liberating but it’s also dangerous.

“It’s something that sustains us, even if it brings out emotions like anger, sadness and loneliness. It fascinates me because you can’t truly define it.”

Bongeziwe is searching for love again.

‘This might sound preachy,” he warns, but he advises his fans to truly love themselves first before venturing into a romantic relationship.

“It’s a difficult concept to grasp, but when you love yourself you become more powerful in whatever you do.”

He continues: “When you discover self-love, you make more self-fulfilling choices than when you are coming from an insecure place.

“In the end, we all have to look ourselves in the mirror and love the person looking back at us.”

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