Performing artists have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic – just think of the singers, bands, choirs, orchestras, dancers, actors, stage technicians… All of whom were left high and dry when the entertainment industry came to a standstill.

PHOTO: Taylum Meyer

It has been no different for the talented young Takura Terry, who before the lockdown was gathering a loyal following and had just launched his first eight-track album, Folks. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, percussionist and rapper, Takura had been performing at various venues in Cape Town and Hermanus, including The Brewery, Burgundy, Tipples, Char’d, Bosmans, Springfontein and the Birkenhead Boutique Hotel, when Covid-19 struck – just as his music career was finally taking off.

“It’s been a tough couple of months,” he says, “and I’ve had to use my savings to see me through. There are very few gigs now. Before, I was performing several times a week but now I’m lucky if I get one gig a week.”

Originally from Zimbabwe, where he grew up in a small town near Harare, Takura came to Hermanus in 2012, because some of his siblings and cousins had already settled here. His father passed away when he was 14 but his mother still lives in Zimbabwe. “She visited Hermanus so that she could be here for the launch of Folks, and made it back home just in time before the hard lockdown,” says Takura. 

“I was very influenced by Zimbabwean music while growing up and taught myself to play various instruments including the guitar, harmonica, drums and kalimba (a traditional instrument of the Shona people, known in Zim as the mbira). I used to be a rapper before I started singing as a way to help me deal with the loss of my father, who was a big music lover.” Among the artists who inspired Takura were Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty and Leonard Cohen.

When he first arrived in Hermanus, Takura was employed as a chef de partie at Lizette’s Kitchen for four years, occasionally moving out from the kitchen to behind the mic (“Lizette was the first person to pay me for a gig!”). Eventually he decided to pursue music full-time in order to share his authentic “life stories” with a wider audience. 

With South Africa having moved down to lockdown Level 1, he has now regrouped with two band members, Emmanuel Bhande and Zander Barnard to form ‘Takura Terry and the Rocking Souls’. Their sound is a unique mix of Afro-pop-folk music, with jazz and blues influences that fall softly on the ear. The trio also enjoys doing covers from the eighties.

Takura Terry and the Rocking Souls are available for live performances at restaurants, bars, markets, wine estates and hotels, and for corporate and private functions, parties and weddings. Contact 072 755 8505 or hello@takuraterry.com. Their website will be up and running soon at www.takuraterry.com

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