Mafikizolo

Mafikizolo is a South African band that rose to prominence at the height of the kwaito revolution with hit songs such as “Loot”/”Lotto”, “Sibongile”, “Ndihamba Nawe”, “Kwela Kwela”, “Udakwa Njalo”, “Emlanjeni” and “Khona”. The band originally consisted of three members until Tebogo Benedict Madingoane (affectionately known as “Tebza”) was shot and killed in 2004, the remaining member are Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza (née Mafu).

Nhlanhla Nciza and Theo Kgosinkwe of Mafikizolo
Origin Kagiso, West Rand
Johannesburg, Gauteng
South Africa
Members Theo Kgosinkwe
Nhlanhla Nciza
Past Members Tebogo Madingoane †
Genre Afro Pop, Kwaito
Since 1996 – to date
Label Kalawa Jazmee Records
Universal Music (RSA)
Associated Acts Oskido, DJ Sbu
Bongo Maffin, Spikiri
Mahoota, Don Laka
Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

Mafikizolo is a Afro Pop group founded in Kagiso in the West Rand, Johannesburg in the Gauteng province of South Africa in 1996.

The group was founded by it’s two remaining members; Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza while the late Tebogo “Tebza” Madingoane was drafted by music maestro, Oskido, to join the group and bring it inline with the trend of the time.

Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza knew each other prior to the days of Mafikizolo when they frequented a local talent show.

They got together to mime American R&B songs of the time but they later decided to make their own music “We got tired of doing the same thing over and over so I was ready to go back to school ’cos my dad was quite strict. But Theo insisted that we cut a demo,” Nhlanhla Nciza was quoted by the City Press.

At first, before the group was Mafikizolo, it was an all girls group “He [Theo Kgosinkwe] put me together with other girls trying to make us a girl band, but none of them lasted, so I eventually convinced him to take his place as part of the group,” Nhlanhla Nciza told the City Press.

They gave the demo to Oskido of the the pioneering Kalawa Records (today’s Kalawa Jazmee Records).

The group was named Mafikizolo (new comers), a song written by Theo Kgosinkwe which was instrumental in helping them secure the record deal with Kalawa Records.

Oskido remarked on signing the group “It was different. The way they sang, their melodies were different. Their content was so rich.

Remember, we were doing harder tracks at the time. Tracks like Traffic Cop which was more about chanting and tough beats. But them, they were singing sweet melodies. That contrast was what made me notice them.”

After signing with Kalawa Records in 1996 Mafikizolo languished in the shadows of far successful music groups of the time, most notably Boom Shaka, who dominated the music scene for a long time.

In 1997 the group and released their debut album self-titled “Mafikizolo”, in 1999 they released their second offering titled “Music Revolution” and in 2000 they released their third studio album titled “Gate Crashers” which featured hit songs such as “Loot”/ “Lotto” and “Majika”.

Mafikizolo Sibongile 2002It was not until their 2002 album, Sibongile, that Mafikizolo shot to fame; the eleven track album boasted some of the most successful songs that went on to immortalize the group in the South African and African music scene, such as “Ndihamba Nawe” and “Marabi”.

The album, Sibongile, was a critical and financial success, it sold 200 00 copies in three months but it was not without controversy.

The hit song “Ndihamba Nawe” became  a subject of highly publicized controversy when it was discovered that it contained a trumpet melody from the song “Mangwane” which was sang by Sophiatown songstress Sophie Mgcina while she was not credited for it.

The matter was later resolved when Mafikizolo publicly acknowledged that the melody came from Sophie Mgcina’s song and they agreed to share the royalties with her.

In 2003 Mafikizolo released their album as a trio, Kwela, which continued on the success of the third studio album, Sibongile.

The fifteen track album, Kwela, spawned critically successful songs such as “Emlanjeni”, “Kwela Kwela” and “Udakwa Njalo”.

In the early hours on Saturday February 14, 2004 Tebogo Madingoane was fatally shot in a reported road rage incident.

In 2005 Mafikizolo, now a duo, released Van Toeka Af which had a hit song “Nisixoshelani” and in 2006 released their second album as a duo, Six Mabone, the seventh overall and final one before a six year hiatus.

In 2009 Mafikizolo released a 1 track compilation on disk and on DVD titled The Journey The Hits.

 

 

Hiatus, 2007 – 2013

After the release of their seventh studio album in 2006 Mafikizolo went on a six year hiatus with both remaining members of the group embarking on solo careers.

“The Afro-pop sound we had started wasn’t new any more, we needed to come up with something fresh.  It was also an opportunity to learn other things. I took this time to set up a record label, learn how to produce music, to write for others like Busi Mhlongo and Kelly Khumalo.

“I also got the opportunity to trust myself. I had always wanted to write, never to be a front man. Now there was no one to hide behind. I found myself having to do things like vocal coaching.

“It was boring. But it gave me the confidence I needed. I think that time really prepared us for what is happening to us now. We had to be ready” Theo Kgosinkwe told the City Press in June 2014 following Mafikizolo’s reunion.

During this period Nhlanhla Nciza released two solo albums through TS Records, “Inguquko” and “Lingcinga Zam” .

Theo Kgosinkwe released two studio albums through Gallo Record Company; “I Am” and “Grateful”, the latter was re-released as a limited edition in 2012.

 

Reunion, 2013 – to date

In January 2013 Mafikizolo reunited and released “Khona”, the first single of their then upcoming album titled Reunited.

In April 2013 the group released their eighth studio album through Kalawa Jazmee Records and Universal Music South Africa titled Reunited. The album’s digital version was released on iTunes.

Mafikizolo Reunited 2013In 2013 the kwaito genre once pioneered by Oskido and his Kalawa Jazmee Records was no longer thriving and had fallen almost completely out of favour owing to the surging Afro-House and the emerging South African Hip Hop while Afro Pop continues to enjoy sustained support.

Produced by Oskido, Bruce Sebitlo, Mandla “Spikiri” Mofokeng, and the Mafikizolo duo Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla among others; the album was not hindered by 2013 dramatically different South African music landscape.

“Reunited” was a critical success and financial success; at the 20th Annual South African Music Awards Mafikizolo won in every single category they were nominated in and took home a total of eight awards including – Album of the Year, Duo or Group of the Year, Best Pop Album of the Year, Best Collaboration for “Happiness ft. May D” and the most sought after Record of the Year for “Khona ft. Uhuru”.

The other awards won by Mafikizolo at the 20th Annual South African Music Awards were; Best Selling Ringtone (Khona), Best Selling Full-track Download and Best Selling Total Downloads.

Mafikizolo also won Best Duo/ Group and Best African Pop Album at the 13th Annual Metro FM Awards.

At the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards Mafikizolo won Best Group and their lead single, “Khona ft. Uhuru” won song of the year.

 

 

Music Style and Genre

In 1997 when Mafikizolo was formed Kwaito was the most dominant genre in South Africa and they went on to sign with Kalawa Records (today’s Kalawa Jazmee Records), a record company that was at the forefront of that genre.

In those days Mafikizolo’s sound and music style was very much Kwaito rather than Afro-Pop.

News articles published between 1997 and 2006 predominantly described Mafikizolo as a Kwaito group despite the clear evolution in their sound.

Today Mafikizolo’s music is definitively described as Afro-Pop.

 

 

 

Discography

Year Album Record Label Notes
1997 Mafikizolo Kalawa Records Debut Album
1999 Music Revolution Kalawa Records Second Studio Album
2000 Gate Crashers Kalawa Records Third Studio Album
2002 Sibongile Kalawa Records Fourth Studio Album
2003 Kwela Kalawa Records Fifth Studio Album
2005 Van Toeka Af Kalawa Records Sixth Studio Album
2006 Six Mabone Kalawa Records Seventh Studio Album
2009 The Journey The Hits Kalawa Jazmee Records Compilation
2013 Reunited Kalawa Jazmee Records/ Universal Music SA Eighth Studio Album

 

 

 

December 2001 Car Accident

In December 2001 Mafikizolo was involved in a car accident in the North West province of South Africa.

It has been reported that the accident occurred the car all three of the original Mafikizolo members (Tebogo Madingoane , Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza) were traveling in collided with a train.

Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza had to be hospitalized.

It has also been reported that the accident was the catalyst of their acclaimed album, “Sibongile”.

“Sibongile” is a Zulu language word which means “We are thankful”.

 

 

The Death of Tebogo Madingoane

In the early hours on Saturday February 14, 2004 Tebogo Madingoane was fatally shot in a reported road rage incident.

Tebogo Madingoane was driving a Volkswagen Polo Playa with a female companion as his passenger, following them was BMW with two on Tebogo Madingoane’s friends.

At the Klipvalley Road and Soweto highway intersection at Mzimhlophe in Soweto a white Toyota Corolla reportedly drove through a red traffic light without stopping and nearly collided with the vehicle driven by Tebogo Madingoane.

Tebogo Madingoane and his friends later caught up with the car in question but it took off, they followed the car and eventually blocked its way next to a Caltex garage at Zone 3 in Diepkloof, Soweto.

Tebogo Madingoane reportedly approached the driver and asked him why he failed to stop at the red traffic light. But without answering, the driver allegedly shot him [Tebogo Madingoane] in the chest.

The perpetrator immediately handed himself over to police at a roadblock on the Soweto highway. They [police] returned with the perpetrator where they found Tebogo Madingoane lying on the road.

Tebogo Madingoane was rushed to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The memorial service for Tebogo Madingoane was held at Newtown Music Hall on Thursday February 19, 2004.

His funeral service took place at Orlando East Community Hall in Soweto on Saturday February 21, 2004 and he was laid to rest at Roodepoort Cemetery in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

In April 2014, at the 20th Annual South African Music Awards, in the wake of Mafikizolo’s reunion and the resulting critical success Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza remarked that Tebogo Madingoane will always be the third member of the group in spirit.

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