Ugu Jazz Festival 2018Ugu Jazz Festival 2018

Selaelo Selota

See Selaelo Selota live at the Ugu Jazz Arts Festival

Selaelo Selota


Selaelo Selota was born and breed in a rural village near Polokwane in South Africa’s most northern Limpopo Province, where he remembers being greatly inspired by the traditional musical practice that were abundant all around him. On completing high school, and not having financial resources to further his studies, he found employment in mining. Working in the mines and living amongst the migrant workers, he was exposed to the traditional songs and dances from many other South African tribal groups. After three years, in 1989 he left the mines and went to Johannesburg – commonly known as “Egoli” (The City of Gold) – in search of a new direction in his life.

In Johannesburg he found work at Market Theatre as an usher and later as a cleaner at famous Newtown Night club Kippies Jazz International, where he seized every opportunity to learn from the musicians he heard performing there night after night. During that year he bought his first guitar FUBA (Federated Union of Black Artist) Academy. By June 1998 Selaelo was playing with his first band at the Market, and also gigging with renowned Ghananian artist George Lee and his outfit Anansi.