Mafikizolo Biography: From Kwaito Performers To Afro-Pop Founders

The originators of Afro-pop

By  | Oct 10, 2021, 06:32 AM  | Mafikizolo  | Top of The

Legendary group, Mafikizolo is the originator of the genre Afro Pop. The group burst onto the scene in 1997 as a Kwaito group and originally had three founding members.

Here's what you need to know about the Afro Pop group's journey:

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Mafikizolo Members

The group originally consisted of lead singer/composer Nhlanhla Sibongile Mafu Nciza, songwriter/composer/singer Theo Kgosinkwe and Tebogo Benedict Madingoane, a rapper. Tebogo was unfortunately shot dead in a road incident in 2004. The group became a duo after his passing.

Mafikizolo Controversy

Together with their late member, Tebogo Madingoane, Mafikizolo had released their self-titled album. They released their 1999 album titled Music Revolution before releasing the direction-giving Gate Crushers in 2000 including their hits Looto and Majika. Gate Crashers ensured that their sound in Afro-Pop would never be forgotten, introducing listeners to something completely new and interesting.
When the group was asked how they planned on carrying on without Tebogo and whether their music would still sound identical. Nhlanhla, insisted that although they each brought new elements to their music,  they'll still use formulas identical to their previous selling albums.

She was also quoted saying:  "They say you must not fix something that is not broken and we are not going to mess with our winning formula.”

Mafikizolo Music

Their music has also been influenced by Kwaito and they are credited to have come up with a genre called Kwela thanks to their style of music. Kwela has been described as kwaito-cum-marabi house music. Their music deals with social issues like women and kids abuse, poverty, the importance of education, and also issues that arise from casual sex.

After a near-fatal crash that left Nhlanhla Nciza hospitalized for some time, they released their critically acclaimed album Sibongile in 2002, featuring the hit single, Ndihamba Nawe which is still relevant years later.

Mafikizolo Songs

Mafikizolo’s singles have all become like overnight successes and have managed to catch the ear of the many music enthusiasts from all parts of Africa to all or any corners of the planet. Allowing them to travel and perform overseas.

These are the group's most listened-to tracks according to Spotify.:

Colors Of Africa
Udakwa Njalo
Going Nowhere
Ndihamba Nawe

Theo was quoted saying:  "Our music is enjoyed by the young and the old. We are taking our fans back and forth".

The duo, recently released a song titled  Thandolwethu. 

Having been on top of their game for over 2 decades, Mafikizolo's Theo said, “Music is a universal language, and as a band, we figured that the only way to stay on top is through collaboration”.

Thandolwethu is another successful collabo tale because it is co-written by the amazing artist and songwriter Msaki. 

“Working with Msaki has been such a blessing, she is a gifted artist and an exceptional writer, “said Nhlanhla.

Albums & Break Ups

The duo released Kwela which featured the late great Hugh Masekela in 2003. The album also included features from other artists such as Kwela Kwela, Udakwa Njalo, and Emlanjeni amongst others.

The group then proceeded to released Van Toeka In 2005. This project featured Nisixoshelani and Mas'Thokoze among others. They followed up the project with a 2006, release of Six Mabone which featured O Tswa Kae And Undenzantoni.

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Their fans, however, didn’t know that Six Mabone would be the album, Mafikizolo would release before they went their separate ways for four years.

During their hiatus in 2009, they released a compilation album The Best of which included one new song, Walila. The duo though didn’t reunite officially until 2013.

They reunited and picked up where they left off with their music in 2013, once they released their internationally acclaimed single Khona featuring Uhuru. Their first album after their hiatus was aptly titled Reunited which helped them on their road to winning 12 SAMAs in one night among other awards and nominations.

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Mafikizolo's Awards

The success of Reunited was so huge that they only released a follow-up album 4 years later in 2017 titled 20 to celebrate their 20th anniversary within the music industry. 20 features Love Potion, Yemi Alade, and Ofana Nawe.

However, throughout their careers, they managed to win several golden trophies from here and there, probably unaware that they'd be starting an extensive collection which includes:

2004: South African Music Award for Best Duo/Group of the Year
2007: South African Music Award for Best Duo/Group of the Year
2014: Album of the Year, Reunited.
2014: Duo or Group of the Year
2014: Best Pop Album, Reunited.
2014: Best Collaboration, Mafikizolo Ft May D (Happiness)
2014: Best Selling Full-Track Download, South African Music Award, Khona.
2014: Best Selling Ring-Back-Tone, South African Music Award, Khona.
2014: Album of the Year during the South African Music Award, Reunited.
2014: Song of the Year during the MTV Africa Award, Khona.
2014: MTN Best Selling Mobile Music Download, Khona.
2014: MTV Africa Music Award for Best Group
2014: South African Music Award for Best Selling Total Download, Khona

Mafikizolo Networth 

For the past 20 years, Mafikizolo has been South Africa’s most loved musical duos, reaching audiences around the world. Nhlanhla Nciza and Theo Kgosinkwe have made major inroads into the genre on the African continent and beyond, and the group isn't showing any signs of slowing down any time soon.
Over the 20 years, they have sold well over 1,000,000 copies of their albums and have been nominated for BET (Black Entertainment Television) and AMA (American Music Awards) awards, internationally. Helping them earn an estimated combined net worth of around R20 MILLION.

Mafikizolo Fashion

Their imagery and branding celebrate all things fabulous and vibrant about African cultures – they dabble in Herero headgear from Namibia and also the pleated Tsonga skirt from South Africa. Mafikizolo's group members are proudly African and always show this through their creative choices.

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