Culture Queen Candy TsaMandebele

Candy TsaMandebele is a bright celebration of her culture as a proud Lobedu wa gaModjadji – a Northern Sotho clan led by the famed Rain Queen.

Candy’s real name is Mosekedi. ‘I am like sand in a river: always constant, always present, ebbing and flowing with the tide. I am a child of the Balobedu from Limpopo, the richest province.’

‘Candy is a name I chose when I was young. But I know very well I am Mosekedi and I use my music to teach people about my culture.’

Her hair is not just a trendy hairstyle but a Balobedu custom where unmarried women shave the sides of their heads to show they are ready for marriage. The pattern on the beadwork she wears carries traditional messages passed down through generations, and even her nails are painted in the colours of our rainbow flag to celebrate her South African-ness.

‘The Balobedu are a small group. There are only 1.5 million of us but our language is 400 years old. We want our young children to know about their unique culture so that it doesn’t die out.

Candy’s latest album, Easy Come, Easy Go, is doing well and was nominated for Best Traditional Album at the 2016 South African Traditional Music Awards (SATMAs) and the 2017 SAMAs in the same category.

She shares her advice for helping your kids remember their roots:

  • Borrow books and fairy tales from the library celebrating your history.
  • Buy dolls that resemble your kids
  • Encourage your child to take pride in their natural looks.
  • Teach your child to speak and know the origins of their home languages.

Read more
: How to spend special moments with your child.

Images supplied