Enchanting vocals, jazzy rhythms and smooth instrumentals are delivered effortlessly by the Cape Town-based afro-soul artist, KhiweG. Her debut EP, Bhotani, showcases the creativity and dexterity of this singer-songwriter. The project tells a story of the journey towards self-awareness through the difficulties of life, and the relationship between a grandchild and their grandparents, or “guardians”. 

Blending her afro-centric artistry and her choral background, KhiweG brings forth a four-track EP that is both mesmerising and musically remarkable. Originating from the windy city of Gqeberha, KhiweG stays true to her roots by offering a raw and soulful listening experience while incorporating a more modern and up-tempo spin. 

Sana Lwam – A poetic and jazzy tune with a relatable message

Bhotani’s open track, ‘Sana Lwam’, touches on the journey of a young adult navigating life. The lyrics indicate that a young, eager soul is seeking guidance from their grandparents, who then assure them that anything can be done with the power instilled in them by their guardians. 

[KhiweG first discovered her singing abilities at the age of seven. PHOTO: Mihlali Jaji]

KhiweG’s tantalising vocals and a slow but powerful bassline set the tone for the track. She then begins telling her story, complete with soothing guitar solos and a recurring hook with the phrase “Sana Lwam”, meaning “my baby” — to reiterate the idea that everything will be okay. 

Ngeke Ng’vume – Finding the confidence and upping the tempo 

The less jazzy and more upbeat ‘Ngeke Ng’vume,’ which features afro-fusion and amapiano artist Versatile, keeps you intrigued until the very end. The combination of the straight drumbeat and subtle incorporation of keys and shakers throughout make this an instant feel-good track. 

[KhiweG’s beaming talent landed her a position in the Eastern Cape Youth Choir. PHOTO: Mihlali Jaji]

This track touches on the confidence that was gained after the grandchild grew up. They are now sure of who they are and what they believe because of their experiences and the lessons they learned at home.

Thongo Mamela – Slowing it down and seeking help

Bhotani’s third track, ‘Thongo Mamela’ — featuring fellow jazz musician LusiBlaq — strays from the previous song and slows down the tempo of the EP. KhiweG sticks to her classic afro-soul and rhythmic sound throughout this track. Her passion for choral music is evident within the first 20 seconds. With three sets of “yeahs” that sound almost tribal, she launches into her captivating storytelling. Because of the authenticity of her delivery, you can’t help but fixate on every word spoken in ‘Thongo Mamela’.

The story told throughout the song contrasts the confidence found in the previous track and depicts a sudden snap back to reality. The singer realises that some battles cannot be fought alone and that help is needed from a higher power — without any indication that there is a higher power to help. 

Kwee Cwaka – The melodic sounds of denial

Last but not least, Bhotani closes with ‘Kwee Cwaka’, a track with Tshili_bass that features no lyrics. ​​The song opens with the sound of water pouring, then a simple beat kicks in, and a smooth guitar riff takes centre stage. Thereafter, ‘Kwee Cwaka’ consists of KhiweG’s melodic cries and hums and continues with harmonic screams. According to her, this is to indicate “fighting the denial and belief of what’s real and what’s not”. 

[KhiweG is a brand ambassador for two non-profit organisations that focus on the nurturing and care of women. PHOTO: Mihlali Jaji]

Bhotani is a true representation of this artist’s ability to create music that is not only pleasing to the ear but has layers upon layers of meaning. KhiweG truly showcases her attention to detail when it comes to the instrumentation of a song and every aspect of the songwriting process. The raw emotion of the artist is evident throughout every track featured on Bhotani. This EP is one that will take time to unpack and stick with you for years. One listen is simply not enough. 


It’s a good thing I’m better at my job than I am at driving. Otherwise, we’d all be in big trouble. On the note of things I enjoy more than driving, the local music scene is very dear to my heart — put me in a crowd in front of a band instead of behind the steering wheel any day of the week.

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