DJ Sbu

Sibusiso Leope better known as DJ Sbu is a South African DJ, musician, record producer, television personality, motivational speaker and businessman. He is among the long standing South African musicians who brought about the Kwaito Revolution of the 90s and the early 2000s. He is also believed to have been the man behind the mask known as Mzekezeke, who broke into the Kwaito Scene at it’s peak and at the dawn of the divergent Kwaito genre which would later be interpreted as South African hip hop.

Mzekezeke-DJ-Sbu
Born Sibusiso Arthur Leope
May 28, 1977
Tembisa, Gauteng
South Africa
Also Known As DJ Sbu
Believed To Be Mzekezeke
Occupation Musician, Producer
DJ,  Businessman
Genres Kwaito, House
Since 1998 – to date
Record Label TS Records
Associated Acts Zahara
Nhlanhla Nciza
Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

DJ Sbu was born Sibusiso Arthur Leope in the Tembisa Township on the East Rand, in the Gauteng province in South Africa.

He is the only child. He went to Welamlambo Primary School in Tembisa on the East Rand, Gauteng.

Sibusiso Leope later attended Central Secondary School in Pretoria, Gauteng where he matriculated.

He went on to study Sound Engineering at African Media University and spent four years at Technikon Witwatersrand studying Electrical Engineering.

In a precarious South African entertainment industry, Sibusiso Leope (DJ Sbu) is undoubtedly a shining example that sustained success is possible.

Since breaking into the South African entertainment industry in 1998, DJ Sbu has since got stuck in and built career with which, one day, the future generations of entertainers and would be entertainers will measure themselves and their peers with.

He has managed to come into the entertainment industry and take advantage of its components that work.

DJ Sbu, without question, buoyed by the education he received along the way, has invented and reinvented himself over and over again while failing to shy away from controversy.

His music career has long been supported by his incredibly strong radio career, his sharp tongue and ability to poke fun at others has made him one of South Africa’s loved radio personalities.

 

 

Radio Career

DJ Sbu’s radio career began when he was volunteering at Thembisa Info Radio in 1998, he spent 18 months there as a presenter and producer.

In 2000, DJ Sbu joined a Gauteng based provincial youth targeted radio station, YFM. There he produced and presented a weekend show, Beauty and the Beast with Angela Ludek.

In 2005, he got his own prime time slot show on YFM, Y-Lens.

In 2007, DJ Sbu left YFM to join SABC Radio’s Ukhozi FM. There he hosted a breakfast show until he went back to YFM for his second spell.

His return to YFM was marred in controversy, in early 2009, DJ Sbu was hauled before the station’s disciplinary committee and later given a written warning after he criticized MTV Base on air for exploiting.

He spoke out against MTV Base after they brought US rapper of the G-Unit fame, the Game to perform with South African artists and later reportedly refused to pay them.

The station reportedly instructed their DJs not to say a word about the alleged discrepancy since MTV Base had paid YFM to promote that event.

Not long after that incident, DJ Sbu was suspended by the station, this time for playing a song that was not on the station’s playlist. The song in question was reportedly that of the TS Records artist, Robbie Malinga. TS Records, a record company DJ Sbu co-owns.

DJ Sbu returned from suspension to find himself in hot water all over again, this time, he was photographed at the African National Congress (ANC) Siyanqoba Rally standing next to Jacob Zuma. The rally was leading up to South Africa’s fourth democratic election which saw Jacob Zuma take up office for his first term as South African President.

DJ Sbu was suspended from the station following the incident, his suspension was set to last until after the fourth South African general elections. The African National Congress Youth League demanded that he be reinstated immediately.

In 2010, he left YFM again  to join SABC Radio’s Metro FM.

On Sunday March 29, 2015 the Sunday World reported that DJ Sbu had been fired from Metro in the wake of the MoFaya saga which took place at the 14th Annual Metro FM Music Awards.

That report went on to say that he would be replaced by Lerato Kganyago who hosts SABC 1’s The Link.

 

 

Acting and Television Career

In 2000, DJ Sbu filmed Hang Time, a South African film and appeared on SABC 1 soapie, Generations.

In 2001, he appeared on SABC 3 soapie, Isidingo and starred on the television drama called It Rained Last Night.

In 2004, DJ Sbu appeared in a third and final season of SABC 1’s successful, highly controversial and critically acclaimed drama series Yizo Yizo.

In 2005, he appeared on the third season of another SABC 1’s critically acclaimed hit drama series, Gaz’lam.

In 2006, he appeared on the SABC 1 hit drama series, Tshisa.

In 2007, DJ Sbu hosted The 4th Annual Channel O Africa Music Video Awards.

In 2010, he was the judge on first season of the SABC 1 dance competition show, Dance Your Butt Off. He however, did not return for the subsequent seasons.

In 2014, DJ Sbu joined Stoan Seate for the tenth season of Afro Café.

Since 2003, DJ Sbu has been the host of a long standing SABC 1 television game show, Friends Like These. The show since seen eleven successful season amounting to 273 one hour episodes as of August 2013.

 

 

Music Career

DJ Sbu is a successful musician and record producer. Already broken into the entertainment industry, DJ Sbu’s music found prominence when he assumed the character of Mzekezeke. However, he has long disputed claims that he was the musician known as Mzekezeke.

In 2004, Mzekezeke released his first album, titled Izinyoka. The album was an instant hit and experienced enduring success.

In 2006, Mzekezeke released his second and final album, Ama B.E.E. featuring a song, “Ubani uMzekezeke” (who is Mzekezeke?).

In 2006, DJ Sbu released Y-Lens Volume 1, an albums which was subject of praise. The album will always be remembered for it’s lead single, “Remember When It Rained”.  That album was followed by Y-Lens Volume 2 in 2007 and the third and final installment of the Y-Lens series, the Y-Lens Volume 3 in 2009.

In 2011, he released Sound Revival Volume 1 and Sound Revival Volume 2 in 2012.

 

 

Mzekezeke

DJ Sbu has long been believed to be the masked Kwaito musician known as Mzekezeke. He has long maintained that he is not Mzekezeke.

Mzekezeke, a Kwaito artist who was best recognizable by his orange jumpsuit and a black balaclava broke into the scene in 2002 as a prankster on YFM.

He featured on Rude Boy Paul and Unathi’s afternoon drive show, he would phone famous people such as artists, musicians, actors etc. and harass them live on air.

In an interview DJ Sbu did with the City Press in March 2014, when asked if in his new book, Leadership 2020, he outed himself as Mzekezeke. DJ Sbu answered by saying, “I am not Mzekezeke, I’ve never been”.

 

 

Writing

DJ Sbu wrote a book titled Leadership 2020: The Beginning. The foreword in the book in question was written by the president of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma.

 

 

Business Ventures

MoFayaDJ Sbu is the co-founder and co-owner of the record label, TS Record, with business partner Themba Nciza.

The label is responsible for the careers of Nhlahla Nciza (solo career only) of Mafikizolo fame and Zahara among others.

In late 2014 DJ Sbu launched an energy drink called MoFaya.

The energy drink, MoFaya, was at the center of a marketing stunt at the 14th Annual Metro FM Music Awards which resulted in DJ Sbu’s suspension from Metro FM.

In March 2015 he launched his own brand of bread called Nzo Bread.

According to the Sunday World, DJ Sbu is set to launch his own his own brand of toilet paper called Ntofo Ntofo.

 

 

Philanthropy 

In 2010, DJ Sbu visited the victims that devastated the nursing home in Nigel, Johannesburg. In that fire, 20 people lost that lives. He had gone there to offer help as well as support and sympathy during their hardship.

DJ Sbu founded the Sbusiso Leope Education Foundation (Slef). Slef is a non-profit organization aimed at highlighting the importance of education among the South African youth.

They also conduct feeding schemes in schools, mentorship, motivational talks, general educational assistance to disadvantaged schools and financial assistance to institutions and individuals through sponsored bursaries.

 

 

Leadership 2020 and Sunday Circle

DJ Sbu is the executive chairman of Leadership 2020, an educational and social entrepreneurship movement.

Leadership 2020 hosts large scale business seminars which often feature leading business minds; since it began the likes of Richard Branson, Robert Kiosaki, Robin Sharma and Robert Gumede have been featured.

Leadership 2020 has a sub-brand called Sunday Circle, an event which is held on Sundays at Cantare Supper Club, Monte Casino.

“Sunday Circle is designed for the progressive thinkers in Johannesburg who enjoy being around like-minded people strategizing on the next move in their business or personal career growth. It’s a space where ego’s are left at the door and members of the audience are compelled to help each other grow,” Leadership 2020 CEO Nicolas Regisford is quoted on their website.

 

 

 

Discography

Year Album Label Notes
2003 S’Guqa Ngamadolo TS Records Album Released by Mzekezeke
2004 Izinyoka CCP Record Company Album Released by Mzekezeke
2006 Ama B.E.E. TS Records Album Released by Mzekezeke
2006 Y-Lens Vol. 1 TS Records Album Released by DJ Sbu
2007 Y-Lens Vol. 2 TS Records Album Released by DJ Sbu
2009 Y-Lens Vol. 3 TS Records Album Released by DJ Sbu
2011 Sound Revival Vol. 1 TS Records Album Released by DJ Sbu
2012 Sound Revival Vol. 2 TS Records Album Released by DJ Sbu

 

 

 

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Hang Time Unknown Feature Film
2000 Generations Unknown Television Soapie
2001 It Rained Last Night Unknown Feature Film
2001 Isidingo Unknown Television Soapie
2003 – 2013 Friends Like These Himself As Host, TV Game Show
2004 Yizo Yizo 3 Dog Minor Role, TV Drama
2005 Gaz’lam Himself Guest Role, TV Drama
2006 Tshisa Himself Guest Role, TV Drama
2007 4th Channel O Africa Music Video Awards Himself As Host, Awards Show
2010 Dance Your Butt Off Himself As Judge, Dance Competition
2014 Afro Café Himself Live Music Television Show

 

 

 

 

Personal Life

DJ Sbu is engaged to Disebo Makatsa who is reportedly a Geo-scientist by profession and a Wits University MBA graduate.

The pair share a daughter and they live in Ruimsig, Gauteng.

It is understood that DJ Sbu was in a relationship with South African actress Terry Pheto who is best known for her role on the critically acclaimed – Academy Award winning film, Tsotsi.

 

 

Controversy, Financial and Legal Troubles

DJ Sbu has often always attracted controversy, although he has had a run in or two with the law, it is his mouth that always land him in hot water.

In 2007, DJ Sbu was caught driving at a speed of approximately 260 kilometers per hour (km/h) in a 120 km/h zone.  The speed of 120 km/h is a maximum speed allowed anywhere on South African roads, he had more than doubled that at the time of his arrest.

The incident cost him his sponsorship with Audi South Africa and was fined R7000.

In 2009, DJ Sbu was suspended on two occasions and was given at least one written warning.

The written warning incident came after DJ Sbu criticized MTV Base for their failure to pay South African artists who had served as supporting acts when a US artist, The Game,  performed at their event. YFM had instructed their DJs to keep quiet but DJ Sbu failed to do so.

Not lo after that he was suspended for playing a song by a TS records artist, Robbie Malinga, which was not on the station’s playlist and he is the co-owner of TS records.

When he returned from suspension, he was suspended again, this time after he attended an ANC Siyanqoba Rally and was seen standing next to Jacob Zuma. This was view by the station as endorsement of a political party or a presidential candidate. This was also at the time when Jacob Zuma was just coming out of ugly legal troubles which included acquittal from rape charges.

DJ Sbu reportedly had his household and office equipment attached and sold after he failed to pay levies at Borgo De Felice complex in Dainfern which had amounted to R85 022.56.

Shortly after that, reports of TS Records being taken to court and later ordered to pay Osman Mkhondo (DJ hypnosis) what was owed to him with interest as well as royalties which in total was reported to be at R100 000.

Ahead of May 7 2014 General Elections, DJ Sbu was among celebrities who twitted under the handle “DA Never Loved Us”.

He also attracted a lot of negative attention after he called people of Limpopo province “baris” a slang word which means “silly” or “stupid”. As a result they gathered and sought to publicly burn his records and called for protest of his music and that of the TS Records artists.

DJ Sbu apologized publicly on radio but the people from Limpopo province rejected his apology. The incident also attracted the attention of Julius Malema‘s Economic Freedom Fighters.

 

On Saturday night of February 28, 2015 at the 14th Annual Metro FM Music Awards DJ Sbu came on stage to present an awards, however, before he could proceed he spoke about his new energy drink, MoFaya, (which he had a can of in his hand) live on air as the ceremony was broadcast as it happened by SABC 1.

DJ Sbu at the 14th Annual Metro FM Music AwardsIn the following days reports emerged that DJ Sbu had been suspended from Metro FM – an SABC radio station he works for and the same station responsible for organizing and running the same awards show.

It has been reported that the spokesperson for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, also wrote to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) urging them to take action against DJ Sbu.

“DJ Sbu seems to be unduly using all platforms of the SABC allocated not for advertisement, but for other purposes, to promote his product.

“This has happened on several occasions like on his show on Metro FM, on the TV show Friends Like These and at the 2015 Metro awards.

“It cannot be correct that he uses these platforms in this way because it gives his product an unfair advantage over the rest. Above all, surely it is an improper way of using time allocated for other business to selfishly advertise his product.

“The promotion of the product must undergo proper procedure in as far as advertisement policy of the SABC is concerned and pay its dues,” Mbuyiseni Ndlozi’s letter to the SABC was quoted by the Sunday World.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago was also quoted by the Sunday World saying of DJ Sbu’s suspension, “The SABC views this matter in a serious light. We can confirm that DJ Sbu will not be scheduled to be on air until due process is followed and completed.”

 

  • Fake Forbes Magazine Cover

In March 2015 a Forbes Africa Magazine cover bearing a portrait of DJ Sbu with a can of MoFaya energy drink in his hand surfaced.

DJ Sbu Bogus Forbes Magazine CoverDJ Sbu began using the cover on his social media accounts, this did not sit well with Forbes as it emerged that the magazine cover was not real and was fabricated.

“The Forbes Africa cover is our crown jewel; our trademark. We guard our cover jealously. People spend their whole lifetimes to get on that cover, and then to see it all over social media with a bogus cover is disheartening,” managing director of Forbes Africa, Chris Bishop, was quoted saying.

Meanwhile DJ Sbu was not pleased with Forbes’ legal threats, “I was honoured that someone would go to the trouble of creating such an image. I thought it was so cool so I re-tweeted it. I never thought that Forbes Africa or anyone else would react so negatively to it …We would think that an organisation such as Forbes Africa would know that publishing such false and damaging accusations against prominent members of the public may be considered defamatory and render them liable for damages.”

DJ Sbu and Forbes Africa have since reached an amicable settlement, this is according to a press released (by Forbes Africa) on Monday March 23, 2015 titled “Amicable Settlement of Trademark Infringement”.

 

  • May 2015 Drunk Driving Arrest

On Saturday May 2, 2015 reports emerged claiming that DJ Sbu had been arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The Times Live website quoted Gauteng police spokesman, Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng,  “[DJ Sbu] was arrested in the early hours of Saturday morning on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and will be appearing in court on Monday.

“He was arrested on Main Reef road, near Randfontein, and was later released on R1500 bail,” Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng was quoted by the Times Live website.

Down the years D Sbu has had numerous run-ins with the police over his motoring; in December 2007 he was reportedly caught driving at approximately 260km/h on the Golden Highway, south of Johannesburg.

In 2012 he allegedly collided with an ADT vehicle while driving then girlfriend Terry Pheto’s car in Sandton.

In 2014 DJ Sbu was caught speeding near Lynnwood Road on the N1 North in Pretoria driving at 172km/h in a 120km/h zone.

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