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Jah Saint's love of reggae shows

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With a successful roots-reggae album titled “Shandukani” to his name, Fhatuwani Richard Mashele is quickly becoming a household name in South African music. Better known as Jah Saint in music circles, Mashele believes that success does not come overnight and that one must work hard to earn it.

Born in Hatshikonelo village, Mashele is not a novice in the music industry, having started his musical career in his home village at the age of 15. "Being a young boy at the time, I impressed everyone with my keyboard- and guitar-playing skills at Mount Horeb Christian Church, where I honed my musical skills. I also sang in the church band, and my voice was loved by everyone, which encouraged me to take my talent seriously,” he said.

After completing his teaching studies, Mashele recorded various albums in different music genres, using different names such as Brother Rich, MuAfrika, Mbatini, and Fhatu, depending on the type of music he was playing. He was inspired by the music of his role models, including Alpha Blondy, Burning Spear, Bob Marley, and Colbert Mukwevho.

“Many people know me as Fhatu, which is linked to my hit Tshivenda traditional music song 'Musangwe'. But deep down in my heart, I knew something was missing, and that missing part of my heart was reggae music. So, I decided to record my latest offering, 'Shandukani', to demonstrate my ability and love of reggae music,” he explained.

Released late last year, “Shandukani” consists of eight tracks that are making waves on the reggae-music scene. The album was recorded at Masana Records in Gauteng, and Mashele played all the instruments himself.

Mashele believes that aspiring artists should pursue education before fully venturing into the entertainment industry. “When you are educated and have a decent job, you always have a backup plan when you encounter hurdles in your music career. Education also assists in boosting your thinking and decision-making capacity, allowing you to make informed choices in various situations.”

 

 
 

Fhatuwani Richard Mashele, known as Jah Saint in reggae-music
circles. Photo supplied.

 

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