First Double 1 & 2 is a special collaboration with 3 of the top Zulu string players being Madala Kunene, the late Baba Mokoena on electric guitar and Bernad Sibusiso Mndaweni on electric bass and special guest Mabi Thobejane. The album , released in 2002, was nominated for the 2003 SAMA awards
Baba Mokoena Seakoeng was one of the finest mbaqanga guitar-players and a well known collaborator with Madala Kunene.
Simon Baba Mokoena was born at Umkumbane in Durban in the late ’40. He started making music at the age of 12 and Baba’s first gig was with a group called Mhlathi and His Comets. After two years Baba left the group and went to Johannesburg to play mbaqanga, because he had always wanted to play African music. He played for a group called Izintombi Zamangwane. This was followed by guitar work on Gibson Kente’s musicals Sikhalo and How Long.
Baba joined Winston “Mankunku” Ngozi and Khaya Mahlangu at the Pelican which gave him a chance to explore different kinds of music mbaqanga, jazz and rhythm and blues.
Mbongeni Ngema was impressed and asked Baba to join the band for his musical Township Fever, which opened at Johannesburg’s Market Theatre in 1991. The show went on to tour America, opening in New York. After the Township Fever tour, Baba worked with Letta Mbuli and Caiphus Semenya in shows around South Africa. Baba returned to Mbongeni Ngema’s company, touring Europe with Sarafina, Magic at 4am and Mama. Baba met and recorded with Airto Moreira and Jose Neto. In 1999, Baba teamed up with Madala Kunene to prepare the recording of a collaborative album for Melt.
Baba was a very sought-after session musician and his guitar-playing earned him a lot praise from all age groups.