80 and going strong, Caiphus Semenya remains SA's ambassador of sound
Caiphus Semenya has led a remarkable life, spending as much time as a musician in exile as Madiba spent in prison. While away, he and his wife, Letta Mbulu, took the music of their country all over the world. He talks to Leonie Wagner
Days before his 80th birthday tomorrow, Caiphus Semenya sits at his piano in his Sandton home. He’s just mentioned that he hasn’t mastered the piano but as his fingers dance across the keys the melody suggests he might have undersold his ability.
His office wall is lined with gold plaques and awards, and black and white photographs of his wife Letta Mbulu, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Jonas Gwangwa, to name a few...