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I am Music....

On a rainy weekend the Jo'burg weather has cleared for Carob to sit down and talk to the beautiful  Dr Letoya Makhene about her music career, healing gift and being a mom. We meet and talk to her at the much loved  artist haven, the Sophiatown lounge in Newtown.

By Ntsako Mbhokota

She makes an entrance accompanied by two handsome boys, immediately she reminds me of the story "The lioness and her cubs." She is even more beautiful in person, a living muse... I walk up to meet her, as we exchange greetings, I can also see she is no stranger to the gym, she has a beautiful physique, toned and she is in a completely stunning shape.
Before she sits down, she makes sure her two kings are settled. Her energy for someone her magnitude is surprisingly warm and accommodating. I ask her how she is able to do it all at the same time.

"Everything happens at its own time, I am a firm believer in divine intervention. life is a divine plan, when I have to be acting God creates time for that to happen and it always happens that I am not so busy with my music and when I have to be singing, God also creates time for that to happen too... One thing I do not get a break from is being a mom and a wife, there is absolutely no time when I can ever take a back sit from these roles." She says with a smile.


Besides the fact that Letoya literally grew up in front of our television screens, I have only learned of her music recently and was surprised that all this time I'd known her as a great actress and TV presenter she is also a brilliant singer! Her song with Typhus  "Eyes open"  really caught my attention and transformed my thinking of who she is. (See Music video below)


Letoya is a gift to the South African entertainment industry because she simply is a master key that can take on many roles and not disappoint but she does admit that music is her first love.
"Music is who i am... It is something  that resonates within me, it is closely connected to God hence it is my first love. In the beginning my father never wanted any of his children to get into the music industry but it was after he saw the same spirit he had inside him within  me that he could eventually let me sing!" says Letoya.

At age 9 Letoya made newspaper headlines when she sang a duet with her father that moved South Africans at the Africa for Aids concert held at the Sun City Super-bowl. After the performance she gained a lot of recognition and it opened many doors for the young star.

The musician...
Currently she has just come out of studio from recording a single with Ringo Madlingozi, which has started to get airplay in various South African radio stations.
She's just arrived today from Cape town where she sang at a Barclays corporate gig. She is off to Zambia the next day and then Bloemfontein and back to Jozi for another gig.
I ask her what her fans can expect from her as I am also dying to hear some more of her music.
"My fans can expect singles coming their way soon, I am working on wonderful music for my fans, I will make sure that the singles are accessible, after releasing the singles I will compile my music in an album that my fans can enjoy." -Letoya


The healer ...
Letoya is also a healer, unsurprisingly the topic of healing takes us back to talking about her music, and how she uses music to heal.
 "I had to go and "thwasa" for eight months for me to become a doctor, when I went into the initiation school I was not treated any differently, I had to do all that was required of me. It was not an easy journey but i am so grateful for it because it has taught me so many things, it has taught me more about who I am, my culture, my roots, my background, my family, it rooted me to the core... It strengthened me, I am the woman that I am today because of the journey that I went through..."  Says Letoya.


The Look...


Her hair has been a subject of envy among many ethnic hair loving women. Carob asks about her decision to stay natural.

 

"My father dreaded my hair when I was seven years old, for me dreads  are a  form of identity  that I can certainly relate to as an African woman. This is the only hair I know and understand, without putting anyone down, I don't understand relaxers or weaves... My hair is part of the Letoya brand, this is who I am."

Mothering...

She is very calm with her two boys during the interview but never fails to show them love or reprimand them when there is a need to. I ask her how she is able to raise such great kids and still stay on top in the industry.

 

"For me to be able to be a good mom and be able to give to my children I need to be able to give to me first, I need to sing, I need to act, I need to be creative because if I cannot be creative, I think I suck as a mom. I need to fuel myself so that I am always at the right space to give to them, to fuel them, to give them love and to nurture them... To reprimand them and to love them... There is no manual that comes with being a mom but if you raise your children with love, everything falls into place.

 

I don't know about you Carob readers but I definitely cannot wait for an album from Letoya Makhene.

 

 Family

 

Letoya is the daughter of the legendary singer Blondie Makhene. Blondie Makhene is a disco pop music icon with tunes that kept dance floors alive through out  South Africa during the 70's 80's and 90's and is still a favorite in the entertainer.

 

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