Healing and persevering in spite of pain are what Plainsman reporter Marsha Bothma hopes to inspire in others with the release of her first single, Stronger.
Marsha, who grew up and attended school in Mitchell’s Plain and now lives in Bellville South, recalls that her love affair with music began at eight years old.
“I’ve been singing since I was eight years old and writing songs since I was 12. My dad wasn’t around much but he taught himself how to play the guitar and sang to us.
“I always loved singing with him when I get to see him.”
She attended Alpine Primary School in Beacon Valley before transferring to Meadowridge Primary School in Lentegeur.
“I performed in the school’s play and sang the national anthem and other covers in assemblies at school,” she says.
“I also attended Cedar High School of Art in Rocklands. I studied music at that school. I moved closer to home and attended Oval North High School where I matriculated. I would often perform in the at the school’s fun days and on Valentines Day,” she recalls.
While her primary instrument is her voice, she also “dabbles with the drums” and is learning to play the guitar.
“The Mitchell’s Plain Music Academy has really taught me how to be a singer and songwriter. Being here has helped me grow in so many ways as a performer. I am still with them learning the guitar which I aim to learn more and more.”
So far Marsha has performed at festivals, independent events, concerts, and live shows alongside many well-known Cape Town artists and she is currently a finalist in the ATKV-Crescendo Afrikaans mentorship programme.
Her single, Stronger, which was released on Friday May 13, bears a profound and inspirational meaning for her, she says, as it was born out of a painful past which had halted her love for songwriting for several years.
“My singing has been dormant for a long time. I’ve always been a singer but the trauma crippled me in a way that I could not understand for 10 years. The strength of God, my faith and peregrination – the journey of healing – allowed me to find my voice and sing again,” says Marsha, a survivor of gender-based violence.
The song, she adds, came to her as if it were a dream or “a download straight from God”.
“I just wrote (and) I could not stop writing. I stepped back from the song, sang it a cappella, and I believe that this song was written just for me and all those pursuing healing, growth and wisdom. I am not my pain, I am not what happened to me. My singing allows me to speak a language of musical comprehension,” she says.
“This song celebrates the fact that even in those times my voice may have been low, something great was bound to come out, in song, in writing or in creating something beautiful. It is a song of encouragement, of strength and a reminder that even in our mess, we can embrace it and be stronger, stronger than ever.”
Her plans for her musical future, she says, include “to make more music, to tell the stories of people, to share my lived experiences and to let the world know you can’t do things without God”.
“My music is special to me. It is a platform that allows you to share meaningful music with others,” says Marsha.
You can find Stronger on all digital platforms or follow Marsha on her social media pages for more information.