Packing tips from world travelling musician,Thokozani Mhlambi

So today Dr Thokozani Mhlambi shares some tips with us as part of my series interviewing amazing people about basic everyday things.

Why would I ask the renowned cellist, composer and musician from Newcastle in KZN to tell me what he can’t travel without? Well because I’m curious what you would pack when your musical talent sees you jet-setting around the world.

Thokozani Mhlambi’s show, Zulu Song Cycle, will be featured in the National Arts Festival, so I asked him what he took along. Turns out that the curator of the “Early African Intellectuals as Composers of Music” Project, whose debut album will be released this month , has five items he can’t go without. These items also accompanied him when he performed and presented in Germany, New York, New Haven, Chicago and New Orleans this year.

What does Thokozani Mhlambi always have in his carry-on?


I cannot travel with most my hi-definition listening headset. The noise elimination function on it cancels out all the hum of air-planes and airports; giving me comfort in my intimate listening atmosphere. Currently on my playlist is Roy Ayers, jazz composer Omar Sosa & Black Coffee—because I do love my house music as well.

Tuning- App

I have this tuning app on my smart-phone. This helps me to tune my instrument when I am about to play. Although I can tune with my ear, having this gadget makes life so much easier.

Paperback Book

Although I often read on kindle, and other digital formats; there comes a time when your eyes get tired and you just need a good old fashioned paperback to read through. I usually carry at least 1 in my backpack.

Pyjama Pants

It took my wife years to convince to stop sleeping in my underwear, so she finally prevailed. I have a pair of pyjama pants every time I travel.

Smartphone Charger

One thing life has taught me is to always remember to bring your own charger. I have a charger that is always in my backpack ready for all my travels. You don’t want to get stuck, delayed by a plane, or waiting in-transit without your own phone charger.

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