Candy Tsa Mandebele on tribalism, being labelled a one hit wonder and joining Skeem Saam

29 July 2020 - 07:00
Candy Tsa Mandebele is juggling an acting and music career.
Candy Tsa Mandebele is juggling an acting and music career.
Image: Gallo Images/ Oupa Bopape

Limpopo-born musician and actress Candy Tsa Mandebele has faced tribalism and claims that she is a “one hit wonder” in her 27-year career, but says she has learnt to just shake it off.

The star, who recently joined the cast of popular SABC1 educational soapie Skeem Saam, has never been scared to embrace her culture, wearing traditional attire and singing in her native dialect of Khelobedu.

In an interview with TshisaLIVE recently, the star revealed that she had witnessed the scourge of tribalism first-hand.

“I have experienced it in my music career. I went through that in 2009 and 2010, around the time of the world cup. It is here, it is alive in SA. My fans stood by me and the person who criticised me later apologised for his comments.

“You have to forgive, even if you don’t forget, but it is still there in the music industry.”

She said that negative comments about her culture or talent did not faze her because she was confident in herself.

“I know how to deal with that. I am confident in my music. If my music is good, it will be played. If it is not good then don’t play it, but someone will catch on. I am OK with it. I respect everyone and I feel I get that respect back.

“Artists that come from Limpopo are well-groomed. I feel like we are respected and appreciated. Doors are opening up for us and people enjoy our shows, our music.  Look at Master KG, Sho Madjozi, Makhadzi, they are all international.

Candy has also found international fame with her music but admits that there are still some who believe that she is nothing more than a one-hit wonder.

 “I have been in the industry for over 27 years, yet one or two people still think I am a one-hit wonder. There was even a tweet about it recently. I just sat back and wondered ‘where have you been? I have been releasing music and people love my music’. I understand that the person may have not heard of my music but I have been making hit after hit since I broke into this industry.”

In addition to music, Candy has also slayed TV screens as the village shebeen queen Mhani Dayina on Giyani: Land of Blood.

It was recently announced that she would play the role of Bafedile on Skeem Saam, a feisty 50-year-old woman who returns to Turfloop after fleeing an abusive marriage over a decade ago.

Candy said that while her music career is still thriving, with a new recently-released single titled Tsonga Boy, she is humbled to be furthering her acting career.

“I am so excited to be joining the show. It means everything to me. It is one of the most popular shows in the country, but more than that it is educational. I am really so honoured to be playing a role like this, especially because we have so much in common.”


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