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Wednesday, 24 April 2019 05:58 am

African musician sings Newtown’s praises


Local icon Sam Manzanza.

Wellington musician Sam Manzanza, who has been keeping African music alive in New Zealand since arriving in the 1980’s, is working on his latest album.

He says he is composing the album for an overseas tour next winter, as he wants some new material for the event.

The tour will start in China and Mongolia, and continue through Europe and France, if everything goes according to plan.

He says one of the songs – I can’t go home – is a true story, about someone like himself who has left their home to come to New Zealand.

“They don’t have enough money to go home – to pay the ticket – so they’re stuck here, and they build a life here, and they’re enjoying it,” he says.

“Then people say to them ‘when are you going home?’, and they say ‘I can’t go home, because all my life is here, my wife, my kids, everything is here.’”

Another song – Never say no – is about taking all of the opportunities that come your way, in a bid to avoid missing out on potential lessons and experiences.

Building a life in a new place is second-nature to Sam, who identifies a lot with current hang-out Newtown.

“Newtown for me is a multi-cultural place. You meet people from all different nationalities here.”

He says he also enjoys Newtown because it doesn’t have the highest or lowest market, but rather it is just there in the middle.

He advises anyone arriving in Wellington to live in Newtown, and only to move when they know the area well enough.


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