South African legendary music icon Penelope Jane Powers aka PJ Powers is returning to Uganda for a charity concert organised by Girls Up Uganda, an NGO, dubbed, ‘Jabulani Charity Concert’ scheduled for June 30, at the Serena Hotel.
“I am not going to be paid for this but I was so touched by Monica’s (founder Girl Up) story. How a person like her would rise from the slums to one of the best universities in the world and now back to helping other girls. When she reached me, I welcomed the idea of being part of the event because this is one of the ways I could give back to the people of Uganda,” she said of the concert.
She added: “Reflecting on an amusing memory from a previous trip to Uganda, I love this country! It’s about 14 years since I was here. I really loved the country and Ugandans have always been loyal to me. Not that the rest of Africans don’t love me, they do but in all countries I have been to, Ugandans were most loyal to me. They helped my music career and this the best way I can give back.”
Born 56 years ago in Durban, South Africa, PJ Powers is popularly known in Uganda for her anti-apartheid songs among which include “Feel So Strong” (a 1983 duet with Steve Kekana which she wrote herself), as well as “You’re So Good to Me” (1982).
Her other hits are; ‘There is an Answer’ (1986) and ‘Home to Africa’ (1985) but one of her biggest hits (with Hotline) was ‘Jabulani’, the title of her upcoming concert.
PJ has shared the stage with Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading, Hugh Masekela, Divine Divas, Lord Richard Attenborough, Richard E. Grant, Sibongile Khumalo, Janet Suzman and other big names.
PJ has sang for Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. She sang at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela and at the 1995 Rugby World Cup. She collaborated with Vicky Sampson, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and M’du Masilela for the music video ‘Flighted’ at the United Nations Assembly in Washington, D.C. and in Greece.
PJ also wrote an 85th birthday song for Mandela, which she sang for him and guests including Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey at his party in 2003.
The other performers at the concert in Uganda will be her record label-colleagues, Radio and Weasel.
PJ Powers was last in Uganda in April this year, and during her weeklong stay she shot the video for her collabo with Radio and Weasel, dubbed ‘Home To Africa’. At the time she also visited charity homes.