Mildred Mangxola

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Nontsomi Mildred Mangxola (born 9 January 1944) is a South African mbaqanga singer, and a singer in the acclaimed group the Mahotella Queens. Mangxola was born in Benoni, Johannesburg, in South Africa, and loved singing from a young age. She was also a part of local girl group The Daveyton Queens.[1]

Early life[edit]

Rupert Bopape, a talent scout with Gallo Record Company, recruited Mangxola into a new female group, the Mahotella Queens[1] alongside fellow group members Hilda Tloubatla, Nobesuthu Mbadu, Juliet Mazamisa and Ethel Mngomezulu after seeing her perform with the Daveytons. The five Mahotella Queens were then paired with a mbaqanga instrumental team, the Makgona Tsohle Band and the gruff, "groaning" vocals of Simon Mahlathini Nkabinde, and the whole band received instant fame.

In 1971, several original Mahotella Queens, including Mangxola, left to pursue other directions in the music business, and so an entirely new line-up of Queens was formed. It was in this time that Mangxola took some time off from the music business, but also became a part of a new female group at rival record company EMI.

International fame[edit]

In 1983, the five original Queens (Tloubatla, Mbadu, Mangxola, Mazamisa and Mngomezulu) were reunited with Mahlathini and the Makgona Tsohle Band. Their comeback release, Amaqhawe Omgqashiyo, was a hit in South Africa. Due to the success of Paul Simon's Graceland 1986 album and tour (in which he collaborated with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Stimela and others), South African music was in demand. Three original Queens, Tloubatla, Mbadu and Mangxola, were reunited once more with their bandmates. Their international popularity was profound.

Even after the deaths of Mahlathini and several members of the Makgona Tsohle Band, the three Queens (who are all grandmothers and are over sixty years old) remain at the helm today and Mangxola continues to be a part of the Mahotella Queens today.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Info.gov.za, National Orders: Order of Ikhamanga, Mildred Mangxola [1], 2005.