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The army’s gem

Soldier, guitarist and a performing artist

LESAOOANA SEKETE

MASERU – Life in the army isn’t all guns, sweat and blood as might be construed by the civilian population outside military barracks, and Afro Jazz musician, story teller, songwriter, instrumentals instructor and voice trainer, Motsamai David Mashibi, is living testament.

The multi-talented artiste, who has Mashibi as both his surname and stage name was born in Mokema, Maseru, where he also sat for his Primary School Leaving Examination in 2008. This is the time that he also developed the love for jazz.

In 2009 he began his secondary education, while also nurturing skills in caressing an acoustic guitar. Following completion of his high school studies in 2013, Mashibi and his musical acquaintances came together to form the ‘Heroes Jazz Band’ – this was in 2014.

“I have not performed alongside any big names yet on stage, but I can feel the momentum gaining. I performed at the HACOP event as well as the LETOFE in 2020 with my band, ‘Heroes Jazz Band’,” Mashibi mentions.

Prior his debut album, he had made name for himself as a renowned guitarist with live imitations of Afro jazz giants like the late Oliver Mtukudzi and Ringo Madlingosi from Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively.

In 2019 Mashibi hit the studio and emerged with an 11 tracks compilation, ‘Thabeng tse ntle’, featuring the legendary Tšepo Tshola on the song called ‘Meraka’; the album is also graced by voices from Tšepiso Mpotle and Tau Malebo.

In the year 2016 Mashibi joined the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) to serve his country – he is also part of the LDF Jazz Band.

Talking to Life&Style this week Mashibi says the glitz and glamour of being a music star does not conflict with his duties as a military man.

“My journey in music has not been a stroll in the park when I joined the industry, I passed through a lot of obstacles but that had nothing to do with the army.

My work as a soldier is in parallel with my music career as I still do music inside the barracks as well, and I am quite famous as a musician to my senior officers,” explains Mashibi.

“To me music is Manna, it is my life. With me composing music is easy because to me music is not about just putting bread on my table, but something I enjoy.

I am excited to mention that I am currently working on my next album,” he adds.

 

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