Sipping tea with E

Artist Ernestine Deane has started an online show to maintain a connection with her audience.

Vredehoek artist Ernestine Deane has started an online show.

Introduced at the beginning of lockdown, Tea with E is a weekly show that she started to address the physical loss of the stage during the pandemic and maintain a connection with her audience.

“It is a welcoming virtual village, a meeting place, where I can still perform and feature my peers, creatives and fellow artists from around the world. All on the stage of my smartphone and my Instagram account,” she said.

The Cape indigenous artist started her music career at the tender age of 15, singing professionally with hip hop outfit, Black Noise before she joined Moodphase5ive who dominated the South African music scene from the late 1990s to early 2000s.

After a few years based in Germany and signed to Delicious tunes, she returned to South Africa to launch an all-woman band project called Dub for Mama featuring Nobuhle Ashanti on keys, Tiana Amari on bass and Terryl Bell on drums.

Ernestine said the arts have never been more essential. “It is medicine, a balm for the heart,” she said.

She said the show has gone deep these last weeks, digesting the events of the world exposed by the pandemic.

“We, my guests and I, navigate brave conversations with the audience. Uncomfortable topics- over the comfort of a pot of tea. Topics like grief, the many layers of loss in these times, the pain of racism, violence in our nation and the world,” she said.

She added that they also share joys, our hopes and triumphs.

Ernestine has also hosted a series celebrating youth in the month of June as well as a two-week mental health special.

“You get to share space and experience exclusive performances from emerging talents as well as award-winning performers, musicians, poets, writers, creatives with long-standing careers in many different countries,” she said.

The show can be watched by following Ernestine Deane on Instagram and YouTube.

Tune in for the Instagram livestream, every Wednesday at 4pm SAST or catch the excerpts on IGTV and Instagram.