They recently bid farewell to their leading lady Buhlebendalo Mda. Acapella Afro-pop group, The Soil who have been together for 18 years, recently made a return to the stage after being in and out of the limelight. After losing Buhlebendalo, who is pursuing a solo career, they have welcomed a new band member who has been a friend of the group for a few years, singer and songwriter Theo Matshoba.
Buhlebendalo left the group to focus on her solo career and her publishing company. "We had a good run. I'm grateful for everything -good and bad. I grew up as the child of The Soil," Buhle says. I have graced local and international stages and performed at some of the biggest festivals in front of huge audiences here and abroad. I can never replace the time I have had with the group, but it's time to grow and face this cut throat industry on my own. I know I can do it." The Bayangihleka singer will also be putting her focus on her artist hub for women, children, and the LGBQTI community. "I have had the pleasure of working with Buhle for over a decade now. She is a towering figure with such talent that always reveals itself on stage. I know she will be successful as she embarks on her new venture," record label Native Rhythms boss Velile Sithole said. "It's a new chapter that we are now writing and we hope the script will read beautifully."
Group members, Luphindo and Ntsika Ngxanga, say the group will not be the same without Buhle, but the new member brings a unique dynamic. "The Soil without Buhle is not going to be the same but we support her and wish her all the best in her new endeavour. In the same breath, we are exceedingly excited by the beautiful dynamic that Theo's rare gift brings to the group's creative ethos,"the members say. Theo, who briefly filled in for Buhle in 2016, during Buhlebendalo's spiritual sabbaticalfirst made it into The Soil as a stand-in after a search competition. She was given an opportunity to sing two songs of her choice from The Soil. After a full day of auditions and interactions. At the time Theo, from Dobsonville in Soweto, was studying Psychology at the University of Johannesburg.