Many people know me as a singer/songwriter. I am also a flautist and motivational speaker. So let me tell you about my name.
My parents named me Gretchen Elizabeth when I was born. I chose the name Bukeka when I was 6 years old. It means “adorned one” in the Xhosa language spoken in South Africa. My wonderful parents were gracious enough to allow for the change. As I have told people that story it’s inspired them to take a step in self-determination and defining their self-identity. It also turns out that inspiring others would end up being something I do in many ways. It is part of mygift, a part of my style.
In 2000 I released my first CD, Bukeka. The most popular track is called "Light a Candle in Your Name". It has been sung for countless wedding celebrations as well as given aid to those in hospice care. Rock and Roll HALL OF FAME guitarist Rick Bacus, is co-writer of this song and producer of the album. His stewardship made my first CD sound as if I'd been recording for decades.
For several years after I contributed to several recording projects In 2010 I released my next CD entitled Spirit Is Alive. I wrote and co-produced all the songs. My fan base grew with people from all walks of life and spent the next year touring across the United States and abroad.
In 2016 I released an EP entitled Just Like the Phoenix. My musical style took on a more Neo-Soul/R&B feel which broadened my fan base even more. This time, I collaborated with author and songwriter TL Jones, a multi-talented young woman capable of writing incredible lyrics and melodies in every popular music genre. The album reflects a variety of producers ranging from jazz to hip-hop.
"There is only one person who can complete the work that is yours to do and that person is you. Otherwise it simply does not get done."
This is the message I give to all my audiences. Whether I am working with youth organizations or corporate entities, or even adult learners, my presentations leave long lasting impressions of hopefulness and optimism.
From Cape Town, South Africa to San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico and
many places in between I've been inspired by amazing people.
Opportunities for cultural exchange, brings life to my music and messages. In 2018 I was honored to be chosen as one of four music ambassadors representing Kansas City and its designation as a Creative City of Music by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Because cultural connection is so important to me personally and professionally I created MyTravelBukekaStyle. The travel agency specializes in music and motivational travel experiences to significant places in the United States and around the world!
Whether it’s my hair or my clothing, what's important to me is being myself. I love to laugh, dance, cook and gather with friends and family. Meditation and spiritual connection are important components of my life as well. Wellness encompasses many things, but for me it’s about having a wonderful sense of well-being.
That is what I commit to everyday – That is BukekaStyle!
Program and Executive Director for Youth job training program
Youth Conference facilitator in Mountain View, California
Just like the Phoenix EP officially released.
Working with Angela and James Ward working with youth in Nassau, Bahamas
Working with volunteers to build tiny homes for Kansas City Verterans
BLAST FROM THE PAST!
The best place to start is by giving an overview of who I am, what I represent, and what I believe. Although this video was done a great while ago, the content still rings true in my life.
Yes, at one point I did a reality show. I do it all!