Masuka: ‘You can’t stop me from singing … that’s my life’

In the glow of the early morning winter sun, legendary jazz singer-songwriter Dorothy Masuka is up and already sweeping and tending to the garden outside her home in Yeoville, Johannesburg.

Her domestic assistant is not in for the day, she says, as she moves inside, shifting the black-and-white couch in her living room and rearranging the small white carpets on the floor. Her grandson prepares tea while she changes from her navy-blue gown and pink pyjamas into a smart black-and-white outfit.

Born in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, in September 1935, Masuka rose to fame in the early 1950s after abandoning her education at a Catholic boarding school in Johannesburg to join Philemon Magotsi’s Ink Spots in Durban at the age of 15.

She was later “caught” and sent back to Johannesburg where she ran away again, this time to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, where she joined the Golden Rhythm Crooners jazz band.

Read it at the M&G.

Image – Dorothy Masuka (M&G)

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