SAMA-nominated hitmaker, Majozi, takes to the stage in SA education this year as Koa Academy’s Head of Culture. Appreciated for his warmth and humanity, we sat down with Majozi so that SA parents can get to know him better:
What was your favourite subject in school, and why?
“It was history. The other subjects didn’t even come close for me, I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the story-telling aspect, mixed with trying to understand where we’ve come from and how we got here.”
Did you have a teacher that made a huge difference in your life? How?
“My history teacher, Mr Van der Bergh. I really enjoyed the subject and he was an interesting character. He shared interesting stories and poems with us all the time.”
Looking back, what would you have wanted to change about your own school experience? Tell us more about a song that inspired you when you were at school and why?
“I wish I had the opportunity to pursue more of the creative arts in school. We never had music but we did have drama. I wish I had explored that avenue at a younger, school-going age, but to be honest, not many people took it seriously or saw any value in it. I started playing guitar at the beginning of high school, and any song that was fun to play inspired me. I remember playing along with anything from Jimi Hendrix and Metallica, to Blink 182 and Avril Lavigne. As long as it had a few chords and riffs, I would try to play it.”
As Koa’s Head of Culture, what are you most looking forward to?
“I’m really looking forward to working with the students. In my previous interactions, I found them inspiring and they gave me so much hope for the future. I’m honoured to try and tap into what I’ve already seen and help them explore their creative endeavours in whatever form that may take, in the Koa environment that allows them to grow and feel valued.”
Tell us more about your musical journey, and how you got started…
“I use to sing in the choir in Grade 1, but I really started being interested in music when I started playing guitar at the age of 13. I was pretty average at most things, but I took to guitar fairly quickly and just had so much fun. Learning to play other songs helped me understand how songs were made, and that inspired me to write my own songs and got me on the path to a creative career.”
When you think back to your youth, what did music, arts & culture mean to you?
“So many of my favourite memories have songs attached to them, and I’ve been introduced to many of my friends through a mutual love for the same music. My youth is full of those moments. That all turned into important moments like playing music in church, growing spiritually and finding a community that loved me.”
What is your greatest wish or prayer for young South Africans?
“I wish all young South Africans knew that they are loved and that they are enough. No matter who they are or what they’ve done.”
What is the best thing about being a professional musician?
“I love meeting interesting people. Music has opened many doors for me, and I’ve had the pleasure of engaging with some of the most fascinating people in the world.”
If you weren’t a musician, what other career would you like to explore?
“Acting, not sure I’d be any good, but I’d have fun.”
If you had to give a young, emerging artist just one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would quote the incomparable musician, composer, arranger and record producer, Quincy Jones, who said: “Never be a better musician than you are a person’.”
Koa Academy is a high-engagement, online school offering an accredited IEB-curriculum for Grades 4 to 12. Learners, who engage with their teachers in high contact 8-person Pods, get to interact with Majozi in a range of experiential arts and culture projects that aim to develop real-life skills. Majozi also engages with parents through various webinars and school activities.
Discover Koa Academy here