Mandoza: the other king of kwaito

Mduduzi Edmund Tshabalala aka Mandoza was born on January 19, 1978 in the Zola South section of Soweto, South Africa. After a brief spell in prison, he formed the band Chiskop with childhood friends.

Although Chiskop achieved great success with the albums Akusheshi and Relax and was regarded as one of the kwaito style’s best bands, Mandoza started a solo career. His debut album 9II5 Zola South in 1999 sold more than 100,000 units , and earned him a 2000 FNB South African Music Awards Best Newcomer nomination.

Tthe album Nkalakatha in 2000, produced by Gabi Le Roux, won multi-platinum status. The title track became a crossover hit, reaching the top of the charts on both traditionally black and white radio stations. The album also won the Best Kwaito Music Album category and the album’s title track won the Song Of The Year category at the South African Music Awards in 2001.

Kwaito star Mandoza

5 out of 10 music awards in 2001

Mandoza also won no less than five of the ten categories at the 2001 Metro Music Awards: Best Kwaito Artist, Best Male Vocalist, Best Album, Best Styled Artist and Song Of The Year. Finally, also in 2001, Mandoza won the Best Artist – Southern Africa category at the Kora All Africa Music Awards. In 2003 Mandoza participated in the documentary film SHARP! SHARP! – the kwaito story, directed by Aryan Kaganof.

Although wildly popular, Kwaito is not known as a very inspiring genre. Mandoza tried to put a more constructive message into Kwaito. Originally, he did not like kwaito , because of its lack of a message and tendency to focus on dancing and pleasure rather than on the range of social problems that exist in South Africa, even after apartheid ended in 1994.

MandozaMandoza was voted 77th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004.In February 2005 it was announced that Mandoza would play a major supporting role in a new South African-made rugby union-themed feature film, Number 10, which would be directed by Academy Award nominee Darrell James Roodt. It was also announced that Mandoza would be contributing to the film’s soundtrack.

Mandoza sings in several of South Africa’s many languages, including English, Afrikaans, Zulu, and Xhosa, giving him wide appeal with South African Listeners. After a battle with cancer, Manzoa died in September 2016.