By Lauren Kansley
Cape Town son Ringo Madlingozi is returning home this weekend to perform at the Old Mutual Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset concert on Sunday March 17. One of South Africa’s most successful musicians, Ringo has been hailed for his ability to craft African songs that appeal to a wide audience, making him a hit with local audiences for over 27 years. Ringo, who was born in Gugulethu, says playing to a Cape Town audience is always a treat and performing at the stunning botanical gardens will make it an even more memorable occasion.
“I am going to fly in early and then just catch Cape Town’s vibe so that by the time I perform I am totally relaxed. I wish I could have two to three hours to perform actually, because I know it’s going to be great,” he says.
Audiences can look forward to a medley of Ringo’s new and old songs which span all of his 14 albums, but as he reveals there are some tunes that no one will ever get to hear.
“I am always creating new songs and some of them I save, waiting for that perfect undiscovered voice to come along and perform it. I once dreamt of a song and Brenda Fassie was singing it, but unfortunately she had passed a month previously. I think every song is waiting for the perfect person to sing it,” he says.
One thing that Ringo does wish he could hear more of though is that special Cape Town sound that he says is never replicated anywhere else in the world.
He says the ‘Ghoema’ sound is comparable to more famous sounds like Maskandi and reggae, yet gets none of the recognition.
“It would be great to work with artists like Hilton Schilder to capture that and make it as famous,” he says. “Cape Town is in my bones. My parents still live there and I am proud to be from Gugulethu, because the area has spawned amazing singers and actors through the years like the late Winston ‘Mankunku’ Ngozi,” he says.
Besides being one of the country’s most successful recording artists Ringo has also produced hits for legends like Miriam Makeba, but he says being in front of the mike is where he belongs.
“I love to be on the stage. I never perform the same song, the same way, ever. It’s always different and I just get into my own world and forget people are watching. By the time I open my eyes and see them they are enjoying themselves as much as me.”
* If you want to experience the Ringo magic book your tickets online at www.webtickets.co.za.
The concert starts at 5.30pm on Sunday, but get there early to secure your place on the grass.