'Cherry WePantsula' Ferguson, proud exponent of 'Kasi Life'

By tawanda ngena
Emerging South African hiphop artist, Ferguson, believes that a lot more needs to be done in order to level the playing field and allow aspiring female rappers the same  opportunities and respect that their male counterparts take for granted.
"There are thousands of female rappers in South Africa that battle and struggle everyday trying to get that elusive shot at fame. We are underestimated as well as taken for granted and it is a situation that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
"More often than not we also have to counter many stereotypes that plague us at every turn, therefore, I am glad to be one of the few female rappers that continue to prove many of them wrong, especially those who are of the thought that hiphop was meant only for men", she said.

But just who is Ferguson ......?
Born Khensani Connie Mathabela 17 years ago in Snake Park, west side of Soweto Johannesburg, she also goes by the title 'Cherry WePantsula', meaning "Township gangster girl".
"I am a female rapper that raps in 'vernac', Zulu slang to be exact, born and raised in a township.
"The name 'Cherry WePantsula' was influenced by my kasi style of rapping, my gangster lyrics and the aggression in my style of rap.

We asked the femcee how her own journey into the music business had manifested;
"It all started with the realization of how nice i sounded when i was rapping along to other people's songs and it led me to a point where I decided to write my own lyrics.
"Around 2014 at one of the hiphop shows that were occasionally held in our neighbourhood I performed an acapella verse and people went crazy over it. After having received overwhelming feedback from the audience, that is when and where i knew that I possesed this unique ability to not only entertain but touch people in so many ways and that I needed to persue it", she said.

Touch so many people, she has indeed, as did the majority of her idols!
High-up on the list of her earliest musical influences are household names such as Pro Kid, Proverb, Squatter-Camp, 985 and Zola.
"These rappers made music that was mind feeding to me.The stories they told musically were healing and motivating. Some of their lyrics are full of knowledge.
"They really influenced me and lyrically contributed alot to who I am today as a person but more importantly as an artist", said the rapper, who also holds her own lyrically.

On the International scene, Ferguson said that she admired iconic American producer 9th Wonder, whom she said she respected for his craft and the fact that he, just like her, does not conform according to the trends today.
Regardless of the attention that she has already garnered so far and fame she is sure to receive in the coming years, Ferguson remains grounded and in her mind she is still a 'township girl', something of which heavily influences her decision to give back to that same community, in any way that she can.
"For me, nothing beats being able to bring confidence and self-belief to township youngsters that wish to rap like me. I really want to leave a mark in every township and be a mentor to all these kids that want to rap too.
"I have always wanted to found my own kasi-promotion company to promote kasi rap (vernac rap) and regardless of my studies being the key to my success, I still plan on making it in the music industry and generating money for my future through my talent", said 'Cherry wePantsula', as she is affectionately known by her multitude of followers.

Ferguson made a name for herself last year through musical projects such as 'Ladies Night, Part 3, which featured the talents of Spacecoockie, Tcee,Tyrant, Amycee, Qwinzzy, Zenny da freak and Ash.
That same year she also got a chance to show her skills on the remix to 'Nokuthula' by Chris of Peace.
She closed off the year with what is largely considered to be her breakthrough track, 'Basop' and she is looking forward to carrying that same momentum into 2017.

Mathabela said that besides working on a yet-to-be-named single slated for release in March and produced by Soweto producer, Speeka, she was also putting together a mixtape.
"I am currently working on a mixtape that will feature many talented rappers from all around South Africa. Besides that, I am also working on shooting a documentary that will be based on the 'kasi life'.

"Lastly, I am planning to enter various rap competitions from all over the country, as it will go a long way in helping me attain the much-needed exposure", said the 17 year old.
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