iFani

iFani (pronounced – ai-fənē) [born Mzayifani Mzondeleli Boltina] is a South African musician and rapper from the Eastern Cape who rose to fame after the release of his hit singles “Ewe” and “Shake”. He has since released released his debut studio album titled “I Believes in Me (1st Quadrant)”.

iFani Mzayifani Mzondeleli Boltina
Born Mzayifani Mzondeleli
Boltina
1981
Mthatha
Eastern Cape
South Africa
Known As iFani
Education UCT
Occupation Musician, Rapper
Genre Hip Hop
Since 2005 – to date
Label Sony Music
Associated Acts Bongani Fassie
Psyfo, Blaksuga
George Avakian
Nomsa J, Lection
DJ Cleo, Duncan
Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

iFani was born Mzayifani Mzondeleli Boltina Mthatha (formerly known as Umtata) in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa – at the time Republic of Transkei, a Bantustan of apartheid South Africa.

He initially lived with his mother and four other children in the town of Motherwell in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

When he was thirteen (13) years old he set out to leave his mother’s shack and move in with his grandparents, “When I was 13, I came up with a plan to leave my home town, Motherwell in Port Elizabeth.

“I’d had enough of hunger pains and all the other problems that come with living in poverty in a shack with a single mother and four children.

“I desperately needed to escape,” the mobile Times Live website reported iFani as saying.

A year later iFani moved to New Brighton township of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape to live with his grandparents.

He described the first year he spent with his grandparents as the best year of his life, “that was the best year of my life.

“I danced before taking a warm bath because my grandparents had a geyser and electricity.

“I no longer had to run home at 5pm to clean glasses for paraffin lamps, pump a Prima stove to warm water and go next door to ask for paraffin,” as reported by mobile Times Live.

However, after failing his mid-term (June) examinations, his grandparents sent him back to his mother in Motherwell.

A month after he returned to his mother’s house his grandfather passed away, “a month later my grandfather died and my grandmother asked me to help her.

“I promised her I would do anything to stay. She said: Do school,” iFani said as reported by the mobile Times Live website reported.

iFani went to Gelvandale High School in Port Elizabeth where he later completed his matric.

He later enrolled at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in the City of Cape Town in the Western Cape to study a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Computer Engineering – iFani completed his degree there and graduated; it has also been reported that he holds a Honours degree in Computer Science, BSc (Hons) Computer Science.

iFani completed his studies at the University of Cape Town and went on to work for South African Breweries (SABMiller) as a process control engineer and a software developer.

It has been reported that iFani entered the corporate world in 2005 and remained there until 2009 just as he was beginning to experience success in the South African music industry.

 

 

Music Career, 2009 – to date

In 2009 iFani released his first single titled “Hola Hater”, the song was picked up by Gauteng based youth radio station YFM and was featured on the station’s Hot 9 at 9.

In late 2009 “Hola Hater” was feature on HYPE magazine’s compilation, Hype Sessions Vol. 30: The Naked Truth – Mixed By The Naked DJ, which help make the song more popular.

In 2010 iFani released his second single titled “Ewe” and later remarked about the song, “Ewe is me venting. Every time I submitted a track, they said ‘no’, saying my sound was monotonous. I thought to myself, ‘A yes will come one day’. I was a pest until they stopped rejecting my music,’ iFani said in an interview with Sunday World.

iFani later released singles; “See Live”, “Shake” as well as “Chocolate and Vanilla featuring Blaksuga” which went on to reach on the music charts of SABC’s 5FM and  those of independent youth radio station, YFM.

iFani - I Believes in Me [1st Quadrant]In May 2013 he released his debut album titled “i believes in me [1st Quadrant]” through Sony Music Africa, under which he is signed.

The album was successful, it carried thirteen tracks and featured smash hits such as “Milli”; in that album iFani worked with Blaksuga, Bongani Fassie and Nomsa  among others.

At the 20th Annual South African Music Awards iFani’s i believes in me [1st Quadrant] beat AB Crazy’s Home Coming, Kwesta‘s DaKAR, L-Tido’s All Of Me and Molemi’s A Sia to Best Rap Album honours.

iFani’s second studio album, i believes in me [2nd Quadrant], is scheduled to be released on the 29th of April 2015; the album is already available in iTunes for pre-order.

 

 

 

Filmography

Year Album Record Label Notes
2013 i believes in me [1st Quadrant] Sony Music Entertainment Debut Studio Album
2015 i believes in me [2nd Quadrant] Sony Music Entertainment Upcoming Second Studio Album

 

 

 

Personal Life

iFani has often credited his grandparents for raising although it is important to note that the Times Live previously reported that he lived with his mother in Motherwell until he was thirteen years old.

He lost his grandfather within the first year of moving in with his grandparents New Brighton.

The passing away of his grandfather left him to be raised by his grandmother, whom he always refer to her as MaMthembu.

iFani’s grandmother, MaMthembu, passed away in 2010 just as his music career was taking off ans she was a subject of a song “Iingoma Ezimnandi” in which tribute is paid to her.

“I was devastated [when MaMthembu passed away]. I wanted her to enjoy and see my success,” iFani was quoted.

“There was too much I wanted to do for her. The news of her death was a real blow for me. I started asking many questions at work and some people were uncomfortable with that. This made life unbearable for me and ended up in a mental institution,” iFani told Move! magazine.

In that Move! interview he recalled the reunion with his mother, “I saw her [my mother] for the first time at MaMthembu’s funeral, after many years. It was a bizarre reunion.”

He also discussed meeting his father in a hotel in Boksburg in a meeting arranged by his aunt, “The meeting was odd. I felt like I was forcing myself on him, like someone who was after his inheritance. We look alike. The only other thing I remember about him is that he is an educated man with too many degrees.”

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