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Caiphus Semenya Biography, Wiki, Wife, Family, Songs, Awards

Caiphus Semenya Biography

Caiphus Semenya was born on 19th August 1939 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a South African jazz musician and composer.

Caiphus Semenya Career

In 196 he moved Los Angeles and he began working with and composing for a broad range of jazz and pop artists, including Lou Rawls, Nina Simone and Cannonball Adderley.
He did the African compositions for the scores to ‘Roots’ and Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of The Color Purple.He later worked on the score to Disney’s The Lion King.
He returned to South Africa in 1990 and he composed scores for Molo Fish, Vicious Circle and Gaba Mootho, three series broadcast by the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation.
He is an executive producer for Quincy Jones’ Qradio website, for which he also writes a regular column.

Caiphus Semenya Songs

  • Matswale
  • Nomalanga
  • Ziph’inkomo
  • Mdali Wethu
  • Play With Fire
  • Woman Got a Right to Be
  • Mamase
  • Dial Your Number
  • Makoti
  • Moshanyana
  • Kedumetse Ho Morena
  • Nomali
  • Mabasa
  • Down On The Ground
  • Angelinah
  • Umoya
  • Khando
  • Part of a Whole
  • There’s Music In The Air
  • Ndiphendule
  • Umfaan
  • Gumba Boogie
  • Help Me Somebody
  • Reach Out And Touch
  • Hareje
  • Stand
  • Namalizo
  • Maru A Pula
  • Ndi-Kulindile
  • Without You
  • Everybody Sing Along
  • Kube


  1. The Very Best of Caiphus Semenya (Columbia, 1996)
  2. Woman Got a Right to Be (1996)
  3. Streams Today… Rivers Tomorrow (Munjale, 1984)
  4. Listen to the Wind (CBS, 1982)

Caiphus Semenya Awards

  1. 1986: Academy Award for Best Original Score for the 1985 film The Color Purple (shared the nomination with nine other composers.)
  2. 2015: South African Afro Music Awards
  3. 2015: CT Lifetime Achievement Award for Music


He is married to South African jazz musician Letta Mbulu.