VA - Give Praise Where Praise is Deserved (1985)

Plum, Teal, KVL5013
Producer: Sipho Gumede & Ray Phiri (exec: Charmaine Modjadji)
Engineer: Richard Mitchell
Recorded at: RPM Studios

The mid-1980s represents the apex of state-sponsored repression in South Africa and a turning point in musicians' role in the struggle for democracy. International pressure on the nationalist regime was mounting too, particularly Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. Two of South Africa's most gifted musicians, Ray Phiri (Stimela, The Cannibals, Kumasi, Paul Simon's Graceland) and Sipho Gumede (Sakhile, The Boogie Man, Jika) gathered other top South African artists, including Lionel Peterson, Mara Louw, Lloyd Lelosa (Stimela), Nana 'Coyote' Motijoane and Katie Pennington to record this album in recognition of Tutu’s achievements and to raise funds for the African Bursary Fund.

The project was helmed by Charmaine Modjadji, a former Soweto beauty queen who spent much of apartheid exiled in the US before returning to South Africa to emerge as a prominent businesswomen and restaurateur. According to her liner notes, "This album is to raise funds for the African Bursary Fund so a smooching kiss to Richard Mitchell for his engineering, Sipho Gumede, Ray Phiri, Charlie Ndlovu and Lloyd Lelosa without whose musical genii this album would not have been possible. May God bless you in you music careers. I love you all. Thanks to all those lovely people who will feel good about this project. The ever living spirit is never without resources."