From the humble streets of Dayveton, Bongani Radebe has surely begun to make his mark in the music industry. After the loss of his parents at a young age, the young saxophonist had to face the hardships of learning to stand up for himself, and being the youngest of four siblings these hardships were not easy but he found solace in music. His biggest motivation came from a need to escape poverty in the township.
He started playing the clarinet and excelled without any formal training, the young musician got an opportunity to teach and share his talent at the Music Academy of Gauteng. Bongani was introduced to the saxophone there, but it was when a woman he fancied mentioned that he would sound great if he chose to play the saxophone, it was then he started playing the alto saxophone. He took a leap of faith and chose to leave his music teaching and pursued his career as an artist. For a self-taught artist he has begun to make waves in the industry.
In his first recorded album, Bongani Radebe worked with various artists across all genres of music. His album is a saxophone rendition of South Africa’s best album “Buyelekhaya” by Nathi Mankayi. Being both excited and nervous about the recording of his first album, Bongani says he wasn’t sure he’d be able to translate the multi-platinum album into a melodic state. The “Buyelekhaya” Saxophone rendition has gone beyond borders, with the aim of reaching those who were unable to understand Xhosa, the melody has done exceptionally performed well and was felt by the African continent.
Bongani’s first album received recognition when he was nominated for the Best Classical/ Instrumental album for the 23rd SAMA awards. With a favourite saying “Give me the stage and I will give you my heart”, it is no wonder he comes to light when he takes to the stage. He gave an emotional tribute to South Africa’s fallen heroes, which brought the audience to their feet, singing along and applauding. He is now currently working on his next project which he hopes will captivate South Africa with his passion and soul.