Meropa, Sghubu & More
Like many other South African youth coming of age in 1994, Mma Tseleng was exposed to the birth of Kwaito, parallel the proliferation of US rap, R&B and soul. Mma Tseleng's taste matured circa 2001, when he started embracing genres outside of pop, building his own collection. He started playing music for a public by calculated accident at the NOPE! Party on the Drill Hall rooftop in 2009 when a DJ failed to turn up (or was late i had a few...). From his 18-CD collection, he offered a seamless, eclectic set consisting of stuff from Moses Molelekwa (Sing Along! Sibongile-Sbu, remember???), Bonobo, the Cinematic Ochestra, Tlokwe Sehume & Medu, Mdu Masilela, Philip Tabane, Quasimoto, Raphael Saadiq, Madlib - stuff he never thought he could play for people to jam at a party (the NOPE! people are a whole 'nother breed by the way but i digress). He was surprised by the response, and that set defined his approach to djing.
Since then he has played at different settings, alongside acts the likes of Just A Band, StopNonCents, The Brother Moves On, Ms Buttons, Dokta Spizee, The Fridge, Meat the Veggies, Real Rozzano, Satori and with his experimental project, the Thath'i Cover Okestra.
Growing up in a small village with no access to electricity, Mma Tseleng's access to music was limited, never mind the practice of collecting music. Mma Tseleng's exposure to music was through taxis and classmates' 'music books'. This ear to the ground condition led to the name Mma Tseleng (which translates to 'woman of/on the road' in Sepedi). His older brothers' cassette collection included: Karyn White, Peter Tosh, Sankomota, Chicco Twala, Brenda Fassie, Dolly Parton, Mariah Carey etc...
He has played for a worldwide audience though the Joburg.Radio online project in collaboration with Keleketla! Library (Johannesburg) and Radio en Construction (France). He was also the compiler for the project's 24 hour live online stream between 14-24 September 2012.
Mma Tseleng has played music at Johannesburg's public places including King Kong (CIRCUS), Wits School of Arts (FUCT Fridays), the Center for Historical Reenactments (Xenoglossia/FUCT Fridays), The Drill Hall (The Brother in the Fridge), Arts on Main (GAZART), Market Photo Workshop (After 1976), Kitcheners (Traversed and Recorded) and Cape Town's The Mahogany Room & Guga Sthebe (Pan African Space Station).
Earlier this year as part of the Independent Publishing Project, Mma Tseleng created a limited edition cassette-sleeve publication that explored early industry beefs in Kwaito. The publication came complete with a mixtape, produced with Kadromatt. Furthermore, Mma Tseleng was commissioned to create a 'Kwaito Walking Map', (based on his boom box walks of Hillbrow) for the forthcoming book, 'No No Place' (Jacana) by Dorothee Kreutzfeldt and Bettina Malcomess.