Band member, Poppie, Singer

Poppie

Singer

Poppie was born and raised on the dusty streets of Gugulethu.

She is a jazz vocalist and started singing Choral music at the age of eight in primary school.

Around 2012, she joined the Ntonga Music Jazz School, formed by Pokie Klaas and funded by Playing For Change. Unfortunately, the school closed.

So Poppie, in 2014, and not one to let such misfortunes get in her way, formed a band called Vukuhambe (Wake up and get going!) with one of the drummer students, Artee Da Drummer Sokuyeka.

Poppie has a voice that can blow people’s hats off!
She also runs a soup kitchen for children in Gugulethu township.

Godfrey "Godja" Dyantyi

Bass Guitarist

Godja grew up in Nyanga East and started learning art at the Nyanga Arts Development Centre.

He started playing acoustic guitar at the age of 15 and moved on to bass guitar from there, where he discovered his full potential and sincere passion. (He is also about 9 feet tall, so bass guitar seems most appropriate!)
He started playing with various local bands, musicals and projects like Songs of This Soil, Beyond The Moon and Nomfusi and the Lucky Charms which was his break through into the international arena including Europe, Canada, Belgium, Portugal, Swaziland and Malawi. he has worked with organisations like the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust, Sink After School and the Nyanga Arts Development Centre, to mention a few.

He is also a sought after studio-session musician.
Using art as a vehicle, Godja’s desire is to transform the youth’s mindsets to combat the daily social ills that they are exposed to.

Profile image of Jerome, drummer for Halala Africa

Jeromejeje

Drummer

Jerome Sitengile is a Performing Artist and Musician from Gugulethu in Cape Town. A Physical Theatre Performer doing Drama and Music. (No wonder he is so expressive when striking the drumhead!)

He joined the J L Zwane Siyaya Musical Theatre Program to study Drama and Music Education and at the age of 18 he won the Jika Majika Dance Competition show in the Western Cape Solo Dancer category.

He has performed in various programs around Africa and internationally, like Mama Africa The Musical in Missouri, St.Louis, USA.

 And so his career careers forward now as a full-time musician, group dancer, back vocalist and a great Dad too!

 

Millicent Mbaliso

Singer

One word to describe Millicent: passionate.

She is a singer and has found that music, most importantly the performing thereof, is without question her purpose!

She is a born and bred Cape Town musician who grew up in the streets of Nyanga Township.

To secure her purpose, she is currently a 2nd-year music student at the University of Cape Town, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, specializing in jazz studies.

Her musical background includes singing in many local jazz and non-jazz bands, namely, African Grooves, Medu and His Ensemble.

Her long-term goal is to revive the musical dream in others, to be a source of inspiration and hope and to pass on what she has learnt to others.

Millicent is our high note, in the sense that she has an eye-wateringly vast vocal range.

Mpumelelu

Saxophonist

An extraordinary talent from the dusty streets of Nyanga, Mpumulelu (which means Success, of course!) is a show stealer as he ripples through his delightful repertoire of sax riffs. Able to jam over any style, Mpumulelu has been seen tootling his brass in Cape Town and can be seen in venues from small, dark, late-night jazz clubs to prestigious venues like the Artscape.

Mpumie, as we call him, joins us in his desire to be an inspiration for young musicians, encouraging them to choose a life of music rather than the unsavoury temptations of drugs and crime that the youth in South Africa’s townships are often exposed to. Respect Mpumie!

 

Noel Ross-Gillespie

Lead Guitarist & Singer

Having resurfaced after a long hiatus in the murky world of “real jobs”, Noel returns to the stage as a Token White Guy, adding his brand of rhythm and lead guitar to what he deemed was a great sound, but “just needed to be louder”.

He has never played with U2, Toto, Johnny Clegg, Coldplay, Bon Jovi, Miriam Makeba or Springbok Nude Girls, but has been very nearby when they have played.

Instead, he spent decades playing in various original bands, worship bands and cover bands, mastering the ability to “jam, colour and augment” with musicians, enjoying the process of creating “more than the sum of the parts”.

In his spare time, he occupies roles in ecommerce, logistics and technology, and can occasionally be found cooking, cycling or… taking long walks on the beach.

Band member, KG, keyboardist.

Khangelani "KG" Twani

Keyboardist

My name is Khangelani Twani, born and raised in Cape town in a township called New Cross Rd,

I started music as a vocalist in the church choir and in school choirs. In 1999, when people heard me playing the piano, I was asked to play piano for several school choirs, churches and local choral music choirs.
I started professional Piano classes in 2007, and I played for different bands and in different festivals such as Klein Karoo Kunste Fees, Cape TownYouth Jazz Festival and I’ve shared the stage with the likes of Jimmy dludlu, Simphiwe Dana, Cauphus semenya,Letta mbuli and the late Vuyo mokoena.

I also took part in a cultural exchange in United States of America and in London.

These days you will find me playing in Restaurants and corporate gigs, turtoring children in piano and bass guitar (editor: he is also an absolutely excellent bass guitar player!) and giving back to the community.

My goal is to make a difference by composing music that heals and changes people’s lives. (editor: Nice on KG! You are a gentle soul!)

William Gets - Halala Africa

William "Wayawaya" Gets

Show Producer & Guitarist

William has a long history in the world of events, productions and music.

During the day, he runs a Marketing company called Brainstorm Strategic Marketing, managing digital marketing, advertising, design and events.

In the evenings you will find him sitting behind his guitar, trying out the latest lick or riff, and fiddling with his effects pedals.

He is a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar fairly well, keyboard … well, cajon with aplomb, has sung bass in many a choir in Europe and somewhere back in his history, the bag-pipes. Truth.

When he is not licking on his guitar, he spends whole weekends lost in the world of electronic music and his Cubase software; the interface of which he humbly likens to that of a boeing’s dashboard.

He has performed his trance music and installed décor in many a nightclub in Cape Town and a festival or two, and was invited by Derek The Bandit to open for him on stage on his Cape Town tour.
You can check out William’s dance/trance/chill/lounge music here, as long as you listen with headphones (he insists).

“Wayawaya” means “always on the go”.

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