This Friday, Eli Zaelo, together with The United Band, will be having a concert to mark the Africa Month. In loving memory of Brenda Fassie, the late Queen of African Pop, Eli chose to include her songs while she sings her own. As you mark your calendars down, let’s get up close and personal with Eli.
Kowloon Community Hall will definitely vibrate with good music, African beats and a roar from the audience. May 31, as an ender to the Africa Month, marks Eli Zaelo taking a leap in her singing career as she pursues her dreams of touching the lives of people from all walks of life with African music.
Tshegofatso Mhlongo’s, 25 years old, is originally from Amandasig Tshwane. She had flown here in Hong Kong two years ago for a contract at the happiest place on earth and when she finished, she realized that there’s still a lot to learn from her hometown.
From then on, she was driven to pursue as much as she can in performing arts. She went home to learn about acting. Though she got trained by world class dance captains from the said contract with Disney, she needed that triple threat skill to be enhanced by getting exposed to different platforms of self-expression.
She became part of sitcoms and movies and she continuously performed side by side with bands and fellow African performers. This propelled her into establishing her name and gaining relationships that connected her to her pursuit of reaching the globe with soulful African rhythms even more. And now, she fires up this legacy in Asia where an interest in everything and anything African is immensely felt.
Known with her stage name Eli Zaelo, she represents her country in a whole new level guesting in important events, giving inspirational talk and performing in schools (Hong Kong Polytechnic University). Finally, she was able to put up a concert.
She collaborates with many more African stars that are pursuing their dreams here in Hong Kong. One is with The United Band composed of many talented young musicians who flew from Africa as well who share the same passion with Eli.
I once heard a phrase that changed my life.”Do it afraid” those 3 words have changed my life. I’m driven by the need to defy my fears time and again until I see what’s on the other side. I want my life to count for something that will be bigger than me and that will outlast me.
– Tshegofatso Mhlongo on being driven…
WHY HONG KONG?
Eli admits that Hong Kong owns a special place in her heart just as how probably everybody else that had an opportunity to live her had. But more importantly, she believes in the connection that it makes when you try to immerse yourself in a culture.
As you yourself are being shaped by the exposure with the experiences and the relationships you develop in the journey, you become socially responsible to give back. To make that “necessary exchange”.
I think cultural exchange is very important because there is so much beauty in knowing more about the people and the world around you. It enhances your earthly experience and opens us up to more of the world and gives us a chance to see ourselves in places and cultures we never thought we would closely connect to. I know that because of my time living in Hong Kong. I have grown to really enjoy living in Hong Kong but that only came through exposure.
-Eli Zaelo (stage name carried from her mother’s name: Elizabeth Selaelo
In the most recent Chinese New Year Celebration in TST, Africa had shared explosive performances. Costumes were well presented and it was colorful in many ways. Their music, their dance and their energy. Celebrate this with Eli this coming Friday. Details are in the poster image but tickets are available in Eventbrite as well.