8 February 2013

Namibia: Selaelo Selota - Guitarist - Composer

Although Selaelo 'Guitar wizard' Selota grew up in a disadvantaged community, it hasn't held him back as far as exploiting his musical talent. It required a lot of courage to pursue his passion as he did not have any knowledge of how to play a musical instrument. Today things are different and Selota is famously known for his maestro guitar playing skills.

Selaelo was born and grew up in a rural village in the northern region of South Africa in the Pietersburg area where he was greatly inspired by the traditional musical practices that were around him. On completing high school, and not having financial resources to further his studies, he found employment in gold mining. Working in the mines and living amongst the migrant workers, he was exposed to the traditional songs and dances from many other Southern African tribal groups.

After three years, he left the mines and went to Johannesburg in search of a new direction in life. In Johannesburg he worked at the Market Theatre as an usher and later as a cleaner at Kippies Jazz Club. He seized every opportunity to learn from the musicians he heard performing there. During that year 1988; he bought his first guitar and began studying music theory through FUBA (Federated Union of Black Artists) Academy.

By June 1989 he was playing with his first band at the Market Theatre. He subsequently played with renowned Ghanaian artist George Lee and Anansi. In 1992/93 Selaelo worked with Shell Road to Fame while teaching Jazz Guitar at FUBA Academy and in 1994 enrolled at the University of Cape Town's College of Music to study for a Jazz Degree. As a bandleader he formed "Meropa" and played at the Grahamstown Arts Festival Fringe in 1995.

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