Gugulethu-born composer, pianist and singer, Thembelihle Dunjana has released her debut album titled Intyatyambo.
At the age of 25, Thembelihle has already worked and played for a galaxy of stars like South African vocalist Msaki, saxophonist Sisonke Xonti, drummer Frank Paco and other giants in the music industry.
She started playing piano at the young age of 10 and has continued her music tuition at primary and high school as well as UCT’s South African College of Music.
She regularly performs at jazz venues around Cape Town and has toured with her band around Durban, Gauteng and Mozambique, playing music from her debut double disc album.
Thembelihle is also a teacher and mentor to younger musicians having worked at Kronendal Music Academy in Hout Bay. She has seen how music has had the ability to lift the spirit and verve of young minds.
“I teach music to children who are mostly from Imizamo Yethu as way of sharing my skill and passion,’ she said.
Thembelihle strongly believes that when children see the growth that they gain from practising their technical ability on a musical instrument, it manifests into other aspects of their lives.
“It lifts their self-esteem and self-worth and even their reason for having vigour to tackle each day. This has been at the root of the mentorship that Thembelihle hopes to instil in her young learners,” she added.
She has also taught at Rainbow Music Academy, and IMAD Music School mentoring young musicians in the townships to grow their musical talents. She now teaches jazz piano at Bergvliet High School.
In 2019 she won the Emirates Pursuit of Jazz along with seven band members and in 2018 she was on the line-up of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.