13 Jan 2024

Tusekah: ‘Music has always been with me’

From Music 101, 1:15 pm on 13 January 2024

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South African New Zealand Tusekah

South African New Zealand artist Tusekah Photo: © 2023 Lily McCondach Photography, all rights reserved.

South African New Zealander Tuseka Njoko (artist name Tusekah) grew up in Durban where she remembers music and rhythm soundtracking life on every block in the city.

But then her family moved to Greymouth.

“I ended up losing Zulu which is my language,” Tusekah told Music 101’s Maggie Tweedie.

Her family moved back to South Africa before moving again and settling in Christchurch.

Whilst back in South Africa, Tuseka picked up the Zulu language again and embraced what she thinks makes South Africa so special. 

There are so many different ethnicities, she said, plus an appreciation for music and rhythm.   

“It’s just a melting pot of vibrancy and ethnicity.”

Tusekah said music was always playing in her family home which influenced her early sonic explorations.   

“From the moment I could pretty much understand words I was appreciating music.”

“A couple of months ago actually I found a book from when I was a child and it had lyrics written in it.”

Tusekah performing at Wellington's Rogue and Vagabond during her I've Changed New Zealand tour.

Tusekah performing at Wellington's Rogue and Vagabond during her I've Changed New Zealand tour. Photo: Jolan Pery

She has plenty of influences but is unsure how to label her own sound. 

“People say I have a soulful voice – so maybe I fit into neo-soul.”

Her latest single I’ve Changed reflects the certainty she feels having grown older and knowing music is a realistic path to take.

“I know that I want to do this and I’m the one putting in the effort to do it.”

Tusekah’s I’ve Changed New Zealand tour is underway with remaining dates in Mapua, Onekaka and Dunedin.

  • Saturday 13th January - Golden Bear Brewing, Mapua (afternoon show)
  • Saturday 13th January - Mussel Inn, Onekaka
  • Friday 19th January - Moons, Dunedin