Famed bassist goes solo

By Mohalenyane Phakela

MASERU — Bass-guitarist Tsietsi “Tsigga” Maeka has left afro-jazz star Bhudaza and says he intends to start his own band.

Tsigga, who stays in Mohalalitoe but is from Welkom in South Africa, is one of the most talented instrumentalists currently living in Lesotho.

Maeka said his decision to leave one of the most accomplished musicians Lesotho has ever produced was not personal but purely business.

“There is no bad blood between me and Bhudaza; I just wanted to grow as an artiste,” Tsigga told the Weekender.
“Actually, Bhudaza is the best person I have ever worked with.

“My decision to be independent has been influenced by a number of issues. For instance, whenever I was free, I would play for different local bands while still with Bhudaza, and this was now causing tension between Bhudaza and other band leaders.
“Everybody wanted me to be part of their band, and it reached a point when they would fight over me even when Bhudaza needed me.
“That’s why I decided to freelance so that they can all book me, before any blood is spilled.”

However, Tsigga said playing with different groups without initially establishing a contract, ended up creating problems for him.
“As I have worked with different people over a long period of time, I would be asked to join certain groups time and again. But since we had come to a point where we had become close friends, we would agree that they could pay me after the shows.
“But they would take a long time before honouring their promises, saying they had also not been paid by the person who booked them, only to find out they were being insincere.
“All these problems compelled me to form my own band, and I have already recorded two tracks at Chaltin’s studio.

I work closely with Sipho Lukhele and I still play for other bands on condition that they pay me up-front,” Tsigga said.

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