10 Questions For: Mervyn Africa

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10 Questions For: Mervyn Africa

Drawing from his rich cultural and musical background, this legendary pianist has both a strong reputation as a solo performer and band leader and is one of the greatest names in the African jazz biz. Well-known for his charming piano improvisations and unique compositions, Mervyn’s influences range from classic and carnival music through to township jazz and Malay musical heritage.

1.How would you describe what you do for a living?
I am a musician and composer.

2.  What is your most vivid childhood memory?
When I was chosen to sing in the boys choir.

3.  If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, for dinner, who would they be and why?
Steve Biko – For inspiring me to reach my goals.
Robbie Jansen – For collaboration.
My Mom – To thank her for believing in me.

4.  If you ever found yourself auditioning for a music reality TV show, what song would you sing and why? 
‘Something so strong inside’ by Labi Siffre. I can relate to the words and sing it from the heart.

5.  How would you complete this sentence? The South African cabinet should include a Minister of ____________.
Music Affairs.

6.  What would you say is the biggest misconception about you?
People think I am arrogant.

7.  What is your (honest) opinion of Cape Town?
Cape Town is a beautiful city but is still politically misguided.

8.  What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today? 

9.  What's the one thing you'd like to achieve before you die?
Finish my ‘Gift of gratitude’ project. [Mervyn’s personal venture – information on the project is yet to be shared.]

10. Which well-known South African personality would you, without a doubt, be able to beat in a street fight and why?  
I’m not sure about this… I have never wanted to fight anybody.  


ABOUT #CapeTownMag10Q:’s 10 Questions project gets to know some of the Mother City’s most creative and inspiring people. From television personalities and musicians to politicians and entrepreneurs, we find out more about well-know and up-and-coming Capetonians. You can follow #CapeTownMag10Q on Twitter and Facebook to track recent interviews or read more here about our other awesome 10 Questions candidates


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