Women in Reggae – Cstar Wendy Duma

Cstar Wendy Duma

Cstar Wendy Duma is a Soulsista, a conscious being who loves life and the Balance of Creation. Born and bred in Cape Town in the Township of Gugulethu. She is Reggae Show Host, an Events coordinator and Artists promoter. She is very involved in community development programmes in her area where she hosts the annual Ladies Night Concert. Her belief in Reggae music coupled with her staunch Pan African stance has made her one of the highly regarded Reggae practitioner in Cape Town. She believes Reggae Music is growing in South Africa and has potential to help ease the social problems faced in our communities.

She shares with us her thoughts on Reggae music, arts and culture and the importance of self preservation as a Black Nation.

How did you choose Reggae?
Reggae played a significant role in the struggle of Afrika, particularly in South Africa, when we were experiencing political turmoil; Reggae was a unifying music, the gospel of wisdom and music that feed the Soul.

What was the atmosphere like when you started promoting events?
I started to promote Shows straight out of schooling.  I used to work for New World Productions on a part time basis, entertaining kids and choreographing Fashion Shows. I also did TV Production at Sasani Studios (now Waterfront Studios) as a patron and recruiting extras for Madam & Eve, Stokvel and Khululeka Television Shows.

Parts of my youthful years were influenced by the ideologies of Marcus Garvey and Robert Sobukwe.
I then left production work and modeling because I felt it degraded the image of women, a struggle and long queues of castings, and the ideal European look and figure. During my enlightenment and journey in Rastafari I then took my experience and combined with my creative mind and started utilising that in empowering struggling artists and females who felt they had nothing to do after finishing school due to financial strains.

Cstar Wendy Duma

Who were the prominent figures in the scene then? Are they still active?
Prominent figures who are from Cape Town and still active are Man Zorro, Daddy Spencer, Crosby and Sugah from that time till now.

What are the major changes in the scene between when you started out?
Back then, when I moved to Joburg in the 90’s Reggae was thriving. When Lans and Ghetto Ruff was signing a lot of Reggae artists; the time of Thursday nights at Tandoor with Admiral & Apple Seed.  The time when Y-fm was established and Rude Boy Paul used to promote Reggae; the days when Groups like Boom Shaka, Bongo Muffin, Abba Shante, gave us locally brewed reggae sounds.
But nowadays it’s a constant struggle and battle to be a well paid and recognised signed reggae artist.
We have the best Reggae Musos in Cape Town, but what kills their dreams is lack of opportunities, like there is a mission to close doors for Conscious Music and Message in this Industry.

How is the scene right now in Cape Town?
Reggae Dancehall has turned its shift from consciousness and empowering Black people to degrading the image of woman into sex slaves and turning a blind eye to Social ills.

How much influence does it have on the youth?
Cape Town is the heart of Reggae, accommodating all diverse cultures that are here, one thing we have in common is love for Reggae; from the pubs of Long Street to the Dubs of township Dancehalls. Reggae music inspires young kids to win a War of Self-hate, and drug use; it teaches them to be disciplined SoulJahz and not to embrace the Western Culture.

What are the challenges that you face in your line of work?
Artists who don’t take their craft seriously. We are losing valuable, potential artists to alcohol and use of drugs due to lack of funding and support.

What is the most gratifying part in your line of work?
To witness artists grow and knowing that you were part of their growth;  to look in the eyes of the crowd expressing joy and coming in numbers; the feeling is satisfying because they show they believe in your work. If you are delivering good standard to the people, they will come support and show their love.

Tell us about your major annual Event – Ladies Night Concert.
Ladies Night Event is an event focusing on issues that women face in their daily lives. Women are oppressed and have been oppressed in many ways, economically, politically, socially, and in gender and race matters. It is a constant battle, now how do we uncluster?
We say women must come out  of abuse from violent partners, we say let’s move away from psychological trauma, lets voice out for the voiceless, then at Ladies Night we seek to empower, inspire, and give them a voice by sending an awareness on retaining their dignity. These talented women showcase their talent in poetry, singing, giving words of power and there’s entertaining Ladies in African Dance and authentic model style.

Cstar Wendy Duma Buyelembo crop

Where is it held and who has performed at the previous events?
 In the previous years we always held the show at Peter Tosh Hall, but this year it will be in Blue Hall, both in Khayelitsha Site C. We have had our legendary artists Empress Hotep, Ghetto Queen and Zukie Jossydaphynah, who started with Ladies Nyt from day one; we are in our 9th Anniversary now. We also have our youth loyal artists such as Blaq Happiness, Anela, Bella and Zandile.

What other events activities are you involved in?
I run All Afrika Fashion Show that’s held at Buyelembo. I have a slot on Radio Helderberg FM 93.6, it’s called SOULCSTAR Ras Trendz every Thursdays  at 20:00. I will be one of the Hosts in 1st Annual Africa Unite Reggae (brought to us by RUF &Bantu Media)

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What can we expect from youin 2016/2017?
More Fire, More Professional Standard, More Reggae to the people, and if I’m the person to do that, why not?

Final Words.
I know I may sound political or Pro Black. Black People it’s about time we start believing in ourselves, supporting our own, before our money goes out it should at least circulate 10 times in Black Businesses so we can establish our own stable Empire. Let us stop buying from Europe and America and their Franchise here in SA, let us boycott the Alcohol Brewery and Distillers they are our Enemy. American Cooperating Food Chains are siding with Police and Legal System that is killing our Black Nation. Peace.

The 9th Annual Ladies Night Concert took place on 27th August 2016, Women’s Month in Cape Town.

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