Black Coffee’s bitter lessons

2014-11-03 07:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

DJ Black Coffee has spoken out about growing up with an abusive father, watching his parents’ marriage fall apart and losing the use of his left arm.

He’s the subject of a new documentary called Origins, which is part of the Real Scenes series created by independent electronic music website Resident Advisor.

In the 22-minute documentary, Black Coffee – his real name is Nkosinathi Maphumulo – talks about growing up in Durban’s Umlazi Section K.

In 1988 he and his mother moved to her mother’s home in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

“There was a big fight?...?It is one of the things I remember,” he says.

“There had been many fights before, but this one was the biggest.

“And I remember my mum started packing our stuff,” Maphumulo tells the film makers.

He finds it hard to reconcile his memories of his father quietly reading the newspaper with those of a man who became physically abusive when he’d been drinking.

His mother, Faith Dandala, says in the documentary: “His father was a nice gentleman and the only weakness was his drinking?...?He was very abusive.”

Their move to Mthatha is something Dandala has come to regret, she says.

Two years after settling in Ngangelizwe Township, the then 13-year-old Maphumulo was involved in an accident that changed his life forever – and seriously threatened his dream of becoming a pianist and DJ.

It was February 1990 and South Africa was celebrating Nelson Mandela’s imminent release from prison. The teenager was among thousands of youngsters in the streets of Mthatha to celebrate the news.

A taxi driver rammed into a group of people who were dancing and 16 people were injured, among them Maphumulo.

He was later diagnosed with brachial plexus injury, a condition that resulted in the impairment of his nerve network on his left arm.

His friends say he never lost his focus. One of his cousins, Sbusiso Ntshangana, says in the documentary: “He would say to me ‘You know, Sbu, sometimes my dreams scare me’.”

The DJ says he’s long preferred to let his music do the talking, but “opening up to people and talking is something I have been learning”.

The documentary is available online

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.