In Dialog: Mafikizolo Speaks on a Legacy of Developing Unforgettable African Anthems


Mafikizolo is the enduring South African duo comprising Nhlanhla Ncize and Theo Kgosinkwe. After bursting onto the scene again within the overdue 90s below the tutelage of veteran artist and report manufacturer Oskido, the Afro-pop duo has given South Africans (and Africans) unforgettable anthems over the last 20 years. It is indeniable that their wildly a success 2003 hit “Emlanjeni” which set the usual for African love songs whilst their 2007 hit “Ndihamba Nawe” has develop into a staple at virtually each and every marriage ceremony party around the continent.

With 9 studio albums below their belt, and any other album set to be launched subsequent yr, the duo continues to provide hit information with an ever-evolving sound. For them, it is about growing a long-lasting musical legacy that may stay related and endearing lengthy after they have left the tune scene. Their collaborations with similarly implausible artists together with Tresor, DJ Maphorisa and Davido (to call however a couple of), are a testomony to that legacy.

Then again, the duo admits, that it wasn’t a very easy adventure. It took 3 albums for them to develop into a family title in South Africa or even that was once virtually reduce brief when they have been curious about a horrific street twist of fate within the early 2000s.

Following a string of awards, just like the South African Tune Awards (SAMAs) and MTV Africa Tune Awards (MAMAs), to call a couple of, Mafikizolo have their points of interest set on even larger musical feats for the approaching decade. We sat down with them at Common Studios to discuss their careers as particular person artists and as a duo, their musical adventure to this point and what they nonetheless have in retailer for his or her lovers.

This interview has been edited for period and readability.

How did Mafizikolo first come in combination?

Theo: Each Nhlanhla and myself are from the similar township. I believe a love and hobby for tune is what introduced us in combination when we met at a township live performance. She was once all the time touring with the oldsters who have been her managers. I approached her at some point, and I stated, “Glance, I noticed you doing your personal factor and appearing. Come sign up for our staff. We will be able to do that so let’s get started one thing in combination.”

Our report CEO then stated to us, “How about I put any other man, perhaps within the heart and then you definately develop into Mafikizolo?” That is how we began out. They presented Tebogo to us and that’s the reason once we began recording in combination.

Why did you make a decision to proceed as a duo after your 3rd member Tebogo Madingoane passed on to the great beyond?

Nhlanhla: Within the early years of Mafikizolo, we struggled very laborious. Then, when the doorways have been opening for us and good fortune was once coming, we misplaced a member. It was once very tough for us as a result of we struggled in combination and now that we have been reaching, considered one of us was once long past. It was once reasonably a hard determination to make, however we felt like we did not need to change him. I believe even the report label felt the similar; all of us took the unanimous determination that were not changing Tebogo. I believe his legacy resides thru us. I think like if there was once any other member, it could have erased his legacy.

Your 1997 observe “Lotto” was a countrywide sensation however you reportedly were not lovers of the music. Why?

Nhlanhla: I wasn’t. I believe for me, on the time I felt like, “Why are we making a song this one line all over the music?” It did not make sense to me. I felt like we’re so a lot more than only one line, it simply did not make sense for me. I like making a song and I like gorgeous melodies, and I felt like there have been higher songs within the album, like “Majika” as an example.

Theo: I used to be partial to it as a result of I like the African sound. For me it wasn’t in regards to the lyrics as a result of I believe the lottery device was once simply beginning in South Africa and we have been all fascinated by it. As anyone who writes and listens to tune, I used to be very fascinated by it in spite of the lyrics. I preferred the beat, the drums, the melody and the chants on that music.


When would you are saying Mafikizolo formally broke into the tune business?

Theo: It is a non secular factor and a non secular second that led us to our good fortune. We simply got here again from a efficiency and I believe at the moment, we have been very busy and really excited.

Nhlanhla: We have been younger. We have been having amusing.

Theo: We have been younger, we have been having amusing, we have been far and wide. I suppose by hook or by crook God stated, “Forestall.”

Nhlanhla: You want to loosen up.

Theo: We have been using on our approach to any other display and we were given into an enormous twist of fate that just about took our lives. The automobile rolled over they usually had to make use of the jaws of existence to take away sure participants from the auto. In an instant after the twist of fate, we stored on visiting each and every different. Now and again it was once a fight, infrequently I’d pass see her with my neck in a brace.

However in this at some point, God gave me a music and I sang it to a chum. After which we carried out it for Nhlanhla as a result of she’s the one that authorizes the songs. So once we in the end were given to the studio, our manufacturers gave us the liberty for the primary time to compose tune for ourselves. That freedom ended in the good fortune. That is why we named the album Sibongile that means “God, we’re thankful for what you have got completed for us.”

I spotted that on that individual album, Sibongile, we modified our symbol as neatly as a result of we had struggled with that for a while.

In 2003, you get a hold of “Emlanjeni”. Did the good fortune of that music marvel you?

Nhlanhla: The music picked up so well. It virtually did not and we have been stunned. We have been shocked. However thus far, the marvel is that it is nonetheless one of the crucial greatest songs. You understand, it is if truth be told the music that received the Metro FM “Music of the Decade.” It competed with such a lot of different wonderful songs and received, which was once simply wonderful. It did take us all through marvel although.

Emlanjeni Mafikizolo (Meet Me On the River)

There were many South African bands: Growth Shaka, TKZee, Trompies and Malika. What do you suppose has been the most important key for your longevity as Mafikizolo?

Nhlanhla: I’d indubitably say, to start with, such as you stated, we struggled for such a lot of years, that every now and then we considered doing one thing else outdoor of tune. Our oldsters have been like, “We will be able to’t have enough money to strengthen you anymore”. All the way through that point, we had the possibility of touring with different bands and different artists. So in some way, we were given to peer how the business works and we were given to be informed from different artists: their successes, the errors they made. All the way through the ones years we noticed folks turning into giant superstars and folks falling thru the ones years as neatly.

So I think like God was once getting ready us for one thing giant, however he sought after us to be informed and to admire the craft first. We realized to admire the business. We realized to admire each and every different additionally.

“We realized that it can be crucial if you are in a band to admire each and every different as a result of egos do not paintings in any respect.”

We have observed bands breaking apart even again then on account of egos. Additionally what stored us going was once the realization that our manufacturers had, particularly Oskido. He all the time stated, “Perhaps it isn’t your time now, however your time goes to return.”

In 2013, you liberate “Khona”. There was once one thing very unique sound-wise about that music. Would you are saying it was once intentional or would you are saying it was once only a herbal evolution for Mafikizolo?

Nhlanhla: The entirety that we do isn’t all the time deliberate. Probably the most issues came about while we have been in studio and have been identical to, “Oh let’s do that”. What I will be able to inform you and what folks have no idea is that we have now if truth be told all the time beloved the West African sound.

One evening, we have been like, “Let’s pay attention to what we have now completed thus far.” The songs have been excellent. However you understand whilst you more or less really feel that you simply wouldn’t have that music however you do not need to confess it as a result of you do not need to carry folks’s spirits down? Our manufacturer then pressed a music through mistake and we have been like, “Return to that music.” We listened to this music and have been blown away. We recorded the music and little did we all know that the music was once going to develop into an African anthem.

Legitimate MAFIKIZOLO toes Uhuru KHONA

What would you are saying has been your very best paintings to this point?

Theo: I believe I’m going to nonetheless return to Sibongile as it was once considered one of our very best albums and a vintage album. No album can change that album; even nowadays it is years and years afterwards and we get so humbled that persons are nonetheless dancing to “Ndihamba Nawe”. Other folks in Australia are even dancing to “Ndihamba Nawe”, whether or not they are getting married or whether or not they are doing any more or less party in reality. It is a vintage music. It is a without end music. Sure, “Emlanjeni” is large, “Khona” is large, however I all the time say our very best paintings will all the time be “Ndihamba Nawe”.

Nhlanhla: I believe for me, I’d say “Ngeke Balunge“, our present unmarried, just because we have now each, in our private capacities been thru such a lot. We have additionally been thru such a lot in combination as a band, and I think find it irresistible in reality does take a unique individual to nonetheless be right here and nonetheless be status. Thru existence’s hardships, and the hindrances and demanding situations of on a regular basis existence and the whole thing that we have now been thru, I think like this music speaks about that as a result of it is a victorious music. It in reality speaks in regards to the wins and the demanding situations, however on the finish of the day, it says you might be victorious.

Ndihamba Nawe

What would you are saying the following 10 to 20 years appear to be for you?

Theo: We like tune and it is tough to depart tune. Despite the fact that we retire from our tune, I can most certainly do one thing round tune, I simply have no idea what. The truth is that there’ll come a time the place we will be able to say, “We have completed the whole thing now, let’s have other artists. Let’s open doorways for different artists as neatly.”

It is all the time great to retire on that prime be aware and do our ultimate displays like Mafikizolo doing an African excursion. There are different issues which can be concerned as you develop up. You have got youngsters, you have got a circle of relatives, you have got different issues that you simply now want to care for, and you can proceed to have a good time tune and your legacy in a great way.

Nhlanhla: An important factor for us has all the time been serving to and creating younger folks of our nation, so we will be able to be proceeding to play that function and serving to in the best way that we will be able to. It is about simply ensuring that we give them the risk or the platform that we got and strengthen them and their goals simply up to ours have been supported.



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