We caught up with the popular band, BCUC (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness), at the Basha Uhuru Festival, at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, before they delivered another electric performance.
Compiled by: Thanduxolo “Thandz” Buti
Main image: Supplied
BCUC (from Soweto) has been enrapturing local and international audiences with their politically and spiritually charged live performances.
The band offers deeply authentic African sounds with resounding protest and gospel elements. Through their music, they have become a voice for black South Africans.
The band is comprised of Jovi (Lead singer), Kgomotso (Vocals & Percussions), Hloni (Rap & Percussions), Luja (Raps & Marching drum), Cheex (Congas), Skhumbuzo (Bass drum) and Mosebetsi (session bass guitarist).
Blacklight had a quick chat with the lead man, Jovi, before they dazzled the crowd.
Blacklight: What does it mean to be a popular ‘Live Act’?
BCUC: Being known as a live act means that we are doing things the old school way, which is to put everything on the line every time we are on stage.
I believe that the best way to articulate our culture as Africans is through live performances. Being on stage allows us to be current because we get to express what people need to hear at that particular time.
We (BCUC) make healing music and in order for someone to be healed, they have to be present, and live performances are the best way for us to do that.
BL: Why do you think audiences connect so deeply with you?
BCUC: Humility is super important to us as a band. Being caught up in the hype can be dangerous. For us, it doesn’t matter how many people we are performing for, we always give them the full experience – Siyashaya.
We see every moment on stage as another opportunity to grow as a band, and we will never stop growing because we strive for growth. We want to deeply entrench ourselves in people’s hearts and souls.
BL: What’s your mission as a band?
BCUC: When we perform siya gida, senza isiko. In English they say it’s ‘a state of trance’, but I feel like that does not describe it fully. As a band, we are just a vessel and sometimes the vessel is not important, it’s what we carry that is most valuable.
BL: How does your music awaken the consciousness of the people?
BCUC: Singabantu bomthonyama. We were brought up to have a deep knowledge of self. When you know yourself, you need to be confident enough to fight to be who you are against all odds.
As young people, we seek freedom but it must be alive in us, first, before we can fully unleash it.
As a band, we are simply igniting what is already in our people. Sidinga iinkuni, notshane, ukuthi masiwophontsa lomentsisi kubenomlilo – and that’s how we, with the audience keep the fire burning.
We hope that when we have become like the likes of Hugh Masekela, we also leave behind young BCUC’s that will keep the movement alive.
BL: Who is the BCUC audience?
BCUC: We are the people we are making music for. We don’t have to adjust anything when we are on stage because we see ourselves in the audience.
BCUC’s debut LP “Our Truth” is available for purchase on bandcamp