Nelisiwe Sibiya's abusive past inspires Lockdown hits

29 November 2017 - 08:00 By Kyle Zeeman
Nelisiwe opens up about the inspiration behind her music.
Nelisiwe opens up about the inspiration behind her music.
Image: Supplied

The devastating pain of her mother's death after years of being in an abusive environment helped actress and musician, Nelisiwe Sibiya create some of TV's biggest songs at the moment. 

During an interview with TshisaLIVE, Nelisiwe opened up about how her mom died as she was putting the finishing touches to a home she built for her, which was also a painful point for the actress. 

Nelisiwe is a proud afro-maskandi artist and has written seven songs for Mzansi Magic's popular drama series Lockdown. Her songs have been hailed by fans of the show since the series started in January this year, with viewers pleading with her to release her music. They were rewarded for their patience this week with the release of the single  Mama Kabafana from the show.

Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Nelisiwe explained that the song was written only three days after her mother's death and carried much of the anger and pain she felt at the time. 

"I was told think of why women would be sent to prison and I reflected on how so often it was in self defence. I haven't really spoken about this before but I grew up in a very abusive environment at some point. After matric, I decided I couldn't stay in that environment. I had saved for three years to go study and left for Pretoria. I took the money from my fees and started building a house for my mother so that she could also leave that environment.

"My mother moved in before it was even done and just as I was putting the finishing touches to it, she died. I was angry at everything that had happened, so you can understand the emotions," she explained.

Nelisiwe said that she often channeled the emotions of her experiences into her music and acting.

She said she got a role on Lockdown after telling the universe that she wanted to act in a production.

"I believe in inviting the universe into my life and decisions, and after studying musical theatre and performing in Sarafina, I put it out there. A few hours later they called to say that I should come in for an audition the next day and I got the role. I am so grateful for it. This is one step closer to fulfilling my calling of touching people's lives."