On 1 October the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City hosted Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse in concert. It’s been 30 years since his hit “Burnout” tore up the charts, and, according to the write-up for his show, 50 years since he began his journey in song.
The show included PJ Powers and other members of the band he was part of, Harari, including Om Alec Khaoli, and I’m sure it was fantastic. I had the great privilege of working with Om Alec in the early days of my sojourn into contemporary music, and he not only helped a lot with the music, but also gave guidance and insight.
The producer that I work with was also involved in the remix of “Burnout,” which saw a second rise up the charts a few years ago, and Hotstix cleverly ensured that the adaptation/remix did not share writing credits with the new crop who remixed it – thus maintaining his copyright.
It is clearly this wisdom that saw Hotstix return to finish high school at the age of 60, a few years ago. And that is what is truly impressive about his musical journey. Jacob Zuma lauded him for his decision, adding that it showed one is never too old for school and never too old to learn.
I agree. What’s more, if Hotstix can go back to school at 60, what’s to stop someone from starting a music career at age 60? A DJ that I know posted a pic on his Facebook page showing a gogo (granny) spinning the decks. The caption for the pic read, “Age ain’tnothing but a number.” Inspiring stuff.
It also reminds me of John Paul Larkin, aka The Scatman, who in 1995 had a smash hit with “I’m the Scatman” at age 53. Four years later, he died of cancer just before the turn of the millennium, but not before gratefully saying, “I have tasted life.” Such stories in the music industry encourage and uplift me. I hope they do the same for you.