It's been a Long Road for John Tsenoli


John Tsenoli is firmly establishing himself on the music scene!

John Tsenoli
Photo Credits Justine Mac Photography

While still riding high on the success of his debut single release I’m Just a Boy that has already reached over 7 million listeners on South African radio, John is set to drop his next single, Long Road, available across all digital platforms from today, Friday 6 March.

The same hit-making team, Ryno Zeelie and Matthew Marinus, joined forces with John once again to write and produce this endearing and inspiring track that continues to tell the story of John’s journey from Lesotho to Johannesburg 4 years ago, and is sure to tug at the heartstrings.

It’s a song about perseverance, hope, strength and staying true to your journey, about leaving a legacy that the generations after you can be proud of and hold onto. Add John’s powerful, soulful, velvet vocals to these messages of inspiration and you have a sure-fire track that will have listeners sitting up and paying attention.

This has already proven true to the over 8000 people who have had the opportunity to hear this song performed live on stage in previous shows; at both Born To Perform SHINE!’s events; in 2018 at The Lyric Theatre, and then again at The Teatro at Montecasino in September 2019. Each packed audience really resonated with the song, giving John a resounding standing ovation and didn’t want him to leave the stage.


John Tsenoli - Long Road 2018 vs 2019 Born to Perform SHINE!
Video Credits Nabihah and Ziyaad Plaatjes

The journey for Long Road began back in 2017 as a conversation between the three songwriters regarding the importance of staying true to yourself and what you feel in your heart is the right thing to do, then sticking to that journey, however long it may take you. 

Says Matthew Marinus of Upstream Worldwide;

It’s been 3 years since we first started writing the initial melodies and lyrics for this track. So it’s been a long road leading up to the point where all the stars have aligned for this track to be ready to go out into the world.  John is a singer that makes you believe and he has poured all his passion into this track - and you can feel it.”

Long Road is a song that’s very close to John’s heart and for him; it’s a collective of important message that he feels the world needs to hear right now.

Tsenoli states; 

“It’s been such an incredible journey for me, getting to this point where I can officially release my second single.

I have felt that specific people have come into my life since arriving in Joburg that have helped me to align my thoughts. This songwriting partnership with Matthew and Ryno has helped me to express myself as an artist, they’ve heard my vision and are helping me express that message. I am deeply grateful”.

He continues; 

“I feel it’s necessary for artists to pay homage to where they come from; to keep them humble and remaining grounded in their roots and in the truth of who they really are. This is important to me, to be proud of the artist that I am becoming. I want those kids in my village who watch me, to be proud of my journey too, and to use it as an inspiration that they, TOO, can follow their dreams, no matter how difficult the journey.”

Delivering an inspirational message is key for John, and his hope is for the song to not only move people, but to inspire them to take action to pursue their own dreams.

After seeing the initial responses to the song at the Born To Perform SHINE! Concerts, John had this to say; 

“The reception to the song was so incredible for me, better than imagined, people really resonated with the song. Those repsonses elevated in my mind, how much I believed in this song as it showed me how impactful it could be in terms of changing peoples’ lives by delivering that message. I have put a piece of my soul into this song so to hear those audiences cheer meant so much. I hope in the release of the single it will do the same for everyone who downloads it or watches the music video.”

Ryno Zeelie of Figure of 8 Productions adds; 

Long Road is a song that was born out of our collective need as writers and South Africans to send out a message of unity and inspiration to everyone in these unsettling times. There is a growing need for us to unite as a nation, and we need to remind ourselves that we are Stronger Together. This is what the song is about.“


Long Road is now available for download on all major digital platforms.

South African sensation John Tsenoli performs Long Road with Mondeor High School
Video Credits Nabihah Plaatjes 

About the Long Road Music Video

When John heard the initial concept for the music video put forward by Indie Village Creative, he immediately connected with it as it told the story of so many South Africans. 

It’s a concept video (instead of a performance video) that tells the story of a man who leaves his home and his family to find work and has to support his family from a distance. It’s not only a South African story, but an African story that is still very common today.

Says Producer of the video; Dale Love-Ballantine of Indie Village Creative; 

We jumped at the opportunity to produce the Long Road music video. We believe in the future of South Africa being a bright one, and hearing John’s song made us excited to be part of getting behind this incredible young talent that is speaking to positivity in SA. We hope that the rest of South Africa gets behind John and supports him in this release.“


 John Tsenloi - Long Road (Official Music Video)
Video Credits Indie Village Creative


John Tsenoli ends off;

“I want people to draw inspiration from the song. In my mind, I feel we don’t have enough voices out there that are projecting the truth, that are rooting for people to be honest. To go for their dreams and to do everything that’s outside of society’s norm.

I hope that with this song, it inspires you to do exactly that; because I assure you, the minute you go out of your comfort zone, the minute you go out of what you’re comfortable being in, you’re going to find GOLD and then you can begin to live the best days of your life.”


John Tsenoli has a love for all music styles, is quick to add some killer dance moves on stage in his band set-up, and the future continues to shine brightly for this star-on-the-rise.


About John Tsenoli

At 21 years old, singer/songwriter John Tsenoli is one of South Africa’s most vibrant up-and-coming singers! 

Music has always been John Tsenoli's passion, and so 4 years ago as a shy 17-year old, John packed up and left his family and the mountains of his homeland of Lesotho and headed to Johannesburg to pursue his dream. 

Tough times ensued and soon had John questioning his decision. He was just days away from heading back home “where he would need to herd cattle” as John says, when a friend encouraged him to audition for Born To Perform’s Gala Concert that year, and the rest s history. 

Not only was he cast in a featured segment of the show, but he was offered a full scholarship to attend Stageworx Performing Arts School which he embraced with gusto. Three years later, John qualified with a prestigious LTCL Degree in Performing Arts from Trinity College in London - which he passed with distinction. 

John was born to be on stage!  Stage credits are already stacking up; from his inaugural Born To Perform Gala Concert to A Night With the Stars with the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra, Capital Singers alongside Jonathan Roxmouth, Gospel Spectacular alongside the like of Brian Temba, Connell Cruise and Mahalia Buchanan, being invited to perform at Collett Dawson’s 25th Anniversary Party alongside Broadway and West End star MiG Ayesa, Gone Too Soon and most recently Born To Perform’s SHINE! 2019. He is now also in contant demand for corporate events.

John released his debut single I'm Just a Boy in September 2019 to great critical acclaim.   

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Nabihah Plaatjes is the Co-Founder of

She is an Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Change Agent, Published Contributing Author, Journalist, Marketing and Social Media Specialist, a Bachelor of Arts graduate, and has been writing since the age of 9.

Nabihah is passionate about Brand Awareness and Brand Loyalty and uses her knowledge in these fields together with her copywriting, editing and proof-reading skills to bring brands to life. is a primary example of how she can build your brand.

Find her at: Instagram: @nabihah_dp / @ilovezacom Twitter: @nabihahd / @ilovezacom Facebook:  LinkedIn: Nabihah Plaatjes / YouTube: SoundCloud: E-mail: is an award-winning Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising Company est. 2015, is a Member of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA), and Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Ambassadors, with a global reach of over 10 million

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 #iloveza❤️🇿🇦 #AfterFajrGrind Accolades:

2021 Winner of Brand South Africa's Nation Pride Play Your Part Award

2018 Winner of Tech Savvy Boss Award at the Roshgold Young Business Achiever Award

Nabihah Plaatjes Accolades:

2023 CEO of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA)

2018 Contributing Author to SAFFRON: A Collection of Personal Narratives

2017 Recipient of Owami Women & Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Award

Ziyaad Plaatjes Accolades:

2021 Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans: Arts, Entertainment, Film & Media 

2020 Contributing Author to There's a Story in Everyone

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