Nomabotwe Mtimkulu was born in Port Elizabeth. From a very young age she attended church and was influenced by both Gospel and Choral music. It was clear from the beginning that she would go far in the music industry. Along with two friends, she formed Maisha, a group that took the afro-soul industry by storm. It became famous for its unique sound and inspiring chords. All members decided that it would be best if they spread their wings and went solo.
Thus Nomabotwe as a solo artist was born, furnished with experience from sharing the stage with some of the best artists South Africa has seen and also singing back-up for the likes of the late Stompie Mavi, Ringo Madlingozi, Siphokazi and Thandiswa. She draws inspiration from the likes of the late Mama Busi Mhlongo, Simphiwe Dana and Mama Mirriam Makeba. She also embraces her youth by writing songs that speak about the struggles of the youth of today and celebrates the bright future that the country has.
She caters for everyone, young and old, in a way that makes all feel celebrated and embraced. She sang at the President’s inauguration in Cape Town and blessed him with an original compilation. One of her originals is Qhakaza, a song that inspires young women to nurture their beauty and never apologise for their God-given talents and gifts.
Her humility has earned her the respect of many other Nelson Mandela Bay artists and further afield. She sold out shows in Nelson Mandel Bay Metro, including the Opera House. She got a standing ovation at the National Arts Festival. Nomabotwe has travelled and performed in many cities around SA. She is more than ready to travel internationally.
Ntomboxolo Nomkhalo [also known as Imvumiyethongo] influences include jazz, reggae, jive and traditional Xhosa music, genres which fuse to form a style defined as “Modern African Soul”. Her appeal is widespread, earning her new fans as far afield as Gauteng and Eastern Cape in which she has performed with great success.
Although Ntosh’s star is bright, her humility and sensibility are always clear. Her regal presence and flawless voice make her something of a goddess and breathtaking to witness.
From the very beginning, Imvumiyethongo has always managed to be at the forefront of change. Born in the rural homeland of Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth (Ebhayi) and she grow up in Ezinyoka. As she was constantly surrounded by a musical family and this would eventually prove to be an important element in the singer’s song composing skills.
After matriculating in 2011, Imvumiyethongo put all her church and school choir experience to use and made a choice to joined several musical groups such as Black City Live Band, Bay Rhythm Live Band, Four Stars and Soul Sisters. She then made a professional debut in 2013 at a production called Nelson Mandela Bay Voices – One Gospel and Hulisani Gospe Show which were broadcasted on DSTV and Unathi Fihla refereed her to Unako Spelling Bee (Arts Wing) Production performed a number of shows also directed some plays under.
Mzwanele Maqhosha formed a Band in 2005 to develop the young talent in Nelson Mandela Bay after realising a shortage in development of the youth who had a passion for music. Dudley Tito, a jazz great in his own right, elevates Mzwanele Maqhosha as one of the last remaining pianists who have the piano touches that are an embodiment of jazz as jazz is supposed to be.
Since its formation, the Band formed by Mzwanele has performed with the cream of South African jazz musicians such as Feya Faku, Stompie Mavi, McCoy Mrubata,Kora X, Ernie Smith, MXO, Musa Mavundla and many more.
Mzanele is a regular feature in the Bay’s festival scenes such as Ebubeleni Music Festival and IsiXhosa Festival and have also performed at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Mzwanele Maqhosha’s popularity has ensured that He features regularly in the Monday Night Live Music event at Oom Cola’s tavern in Zwide,at F,s Place and many other live music promoting venues throughout Nelson Mandela Bay.
Having versatility and flair, Mzwanele have collaborated with the PE Opera House on the Nelson Mandela Bay Concert Series tribute to Stompie Mavi and AVOH choir. He has also collaborated with Centrestage and musicians from abroad visiting Nelson Mandela Bay.
Mzwanele is currently working on a pre production of his Album called The Undying Afro and is also working hand in hand giving piano tutorials at the Gokra Music School owned by Bongani Tulwana in Gqebera.
My Music Journey started at the age of 13 years in primary school where I learned how to play drums. My love for drums continued throughout my high school. Even though I came from a background where I was not able to sharpen my skill as a musician, because my parents could not afford to purchase a drumkit. That never stopped me from pushing my passion for music and wanting to learn more, I made use of the school’s drumkit every opportunity I had. My passion opened an opportunity for me to be selected as one of the students to travel to Europe, where I got to perform in Austria, Vienna, Hungary, Budapest and Germany Frankfurt. I have also performed with some of the best South African musicians like, Winston Mankunku, McCoy Mrubata, Feya Faku,Zim Ngqawane, Sibongile Khumalo and Vusi Nova to name a few.
Bongani Tulwana aka KoraX born and bred in New Brighton Nelson Mandela Bay is a multi- instrumentalist, vocalist, Music Director / Educator, Producer, Composer who is passionate in developing and nurturing young musicians. A music graduate of U.P.E (now N.M.M.U) KoraX credits his former lecturer the late Prof. Errol Cudemby & Prof.Albertyn who encouraged him to compose his music outside of what was taught in the lecture hall. Given this platform of freedom of expression through music he challenged conformity and his own range in music thus expanded. This is the time that most of the music from the KoraX project was written and composed. Bongani is influenced by changes in society – the coexistence of different cultures; even the little things in life that derive pleasure from children’s Nursery Rhymes, Church Hymns, Traditional songs right through to sounds made by different objects.
Bongani KoraX Tulwana has worked alongside many Nelson Mandela Bay and National Jazz gurus namely Dudley Tito, Zim Ngqawana, Feya Faku, Musa Mavundla, Stompie Mavi Dave Opperman & Mahesh Narotam. He counts a poignant moment during a show in Queenstown where Musa Mavundla brought him onto stage and asked Bongani to perform one of his original compositions. So moved by the performance Ray Phiri further encouraged him to continue composing.
KoraX has been part of many theatre productions some staged at the PE Opera House, National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Baxter Theatre and throughout South Africa. He has been a Music Director of many productions written by Monde Ngonyama, including among many Inde Le Ndlela, Time Out and Last Dance featuring Nomhle Nkonyeni.
KoraX has worked with musicians from different genres ranging from Kwaito to House, Reggae to Indian Classical Music and Boere Musiek. He has mentored many of those younger than him. Among his proteges are Lord Harmony, Itesman (Andile Poswa) Dumza Maswana,Zimsto Eroofin and Lovechild.
He is Currently Running his own Private Music Classes called B.T.Music Academy helping the youth in Music Theory,Practical and Music Technology.
On stage with his band KoraX is on lead vocals, Flute, and Lead Guitar. To many Bongani Tulwana is a legend in the making, an embodiment of what once made Port Elizabeth musically great a city to be.
Thembani Phillip Khubashe
Thembani Phillip Khubashe is a great self taught bass guitarist with an experience of 29 years in the music industry, born and bred in Port Elizabeth now known as Gqeberha. Thembani started playing guitar at a very young age and played for the then well known bands such as Fantastic Band Blackslave band, Four by Four band, Mojazz, Afro mix and Blaze band touring and gaining experience around the country. Thembani has also shared the stage with the likes of the late Mike Makhalimela, the late Zim Nqgawana the late Stompi Mavi and Dumza Maswana. He is currently working with Nomabhotwe Jill Mthimkhulu on her debut album and is featured on Bongani Tulwana’s album. Thembani is a freelancer musician and is not only focusing on Jazz as he is now busy recording with Mr Sonwabo Gila, a gospel artist
Thembani is also planning on recording his own project as a bassist that he will be recording in Johannesburg later this year. He is an ambitious and caring bassist who still wants to spread his wings in the music industry.
Asanda Mtimkulu was born in Port Elizabeth (Gqebera), she started singing at an early age. She started in primary school she was also singing at church (Bantu church of Christ) at the same time. After she passed primary school she went to attend Cowan High school where she participated in the choir. She performed in a Solo where she won three consecutive years in a school choir competition called TIRISANO. She has being part of the Gqebera local choirs and has won a lot of competition as a Soloist. Asanda was part of the Peninsula Technikon choir in Cape Town. There was a competition called Melting pot which Asanda won as a Soloist. Asanda has been part of the Transnet Port Terminals Choir and has also won the Old Mutual competition. Asanda has also been part of several tributes at the Opera House, and was performing at the late Stompie Mavi’s tribute as well. She has worked with Bongani Tulwana as a backup singer, as well as with Nomabotwe also as a backup singer. Asanda is a freelancer musician and still is pursuing her career in the music industry.