In 1997, Billy Monama began his journey with the guitar in his hometown of Mokopane, Mahwelereng in South Africa’s Northern Province. Inspired by the music of his childhood, which combined traditional ethnic sounds, African gospel and jazz, Monama studied music theory, harmony and ensemble work at Central Johannesburg College. He also researched and transcribed guitar masters such as Wes Montgomery, Tal Farlow, Marks Mankwane, Jimmy Dludlu and many other South African musical greats. Monama now is a recording artist, celebrated virtuoso guitarist, researcher, producer, bandleader, composer and arranger.

A sought-after guitarist, Monama has worked with artists including Themba Mkhize, Abdullah Ibrahim, Andile Yenana, Sibongile Khumalo, Victor Ntoni, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse, Mbongeni Ngema, Dorothy Masuku, Abigail Kubeka, collaborative performance with Dave Koz, Denise Jannah and many others. His skills in musical arrangement have spilled over into the dance and movement industry where he has repeatedly worked as musical director on productions by the internationally acclaimed Vuyani Dance Company. Monama sees himself as part of the new generation of South African musicians who want to take the music of the African continent to greater heights.

Billy Monama is founder and director of the Grazroots Project, a collaboration of musicians, teachers and composers to revive classic South African songs. In 2016, Billy and Andy Innes released their album Brothers, a collection of original pieces written and arranged for the acoustic guitar in traditional styles. In October 2017, he released his debut album Rebounce. In 2020, he released tutorial videos about South African guitar styles. 2021 –he became the first African to be endorsed by the prestigious guitar – The Gibson Guitars through Marshall music. For more read: