Mafikizolo is back!

By Drum Digital
15 December 2010

MENTION their name to anyone, young or old, rich or poor, and they’ll know who Mafikizolo are. They’ve been the biggest and most successful group in the country for the past 10 years – and to prove it their smash hit Ndihamba Nawe was voted the Song of the Decade at the recent Metro FM Music Awards.

Whether you’re busting moves at a township wedding or riding in a taxi in downtown Jozi, chances are the sounds of Mafikizolo will be blaring away.So it’s only understandable that their hordes of fans were devastated when they split up – what was going on, they wanted to know? Was that the end of Mafikizolo for good? Were Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza fighting?

The good news is they were telling the truth when they parted ways: they just took a break to concentrate on their solo careers and now they’re back – ayeye!

And today, here Theo and Nhlanhla are, together in the same room to tell DRUM all about it. They’re back in the studio working on a new offering, and it’s going to be Mafikizolo like we’ve never heard them before, they say: the same sound, but with a twist to keep things fresh and funky.

“Everywhere I went to perform, fans always asked where Theo was and it was the same for him. So the time has come for us to get back into the studio and give the fans what they’ve been asking for,” says Nhlanhla, smiling.

Mafikizolo started a revolution in the music industry back in 1998 after gaining fame with their catchy hit track Lotto and then blowing people away with their awardwinning Ndihamba Nawe.

But they didn’t just start a musical revolution; they’ve also had a profound influence on the way many young people in the townships dress. Baggy jeans, loose T-shirts, tiny mini skirts and those unsightly tsupnizers have been replaced by ’50s- and ’60sstyled suits and fedoras for guys, and elegant skirts, blouses and dresses with fine detailing for the women.

And then, of course, there are the oversized shades that have become Nhlanhla’s signature – every young girl in the township has her own collection of these too.

Even on their day off, Nhlanhla and Theo are the picture of style – it’s high heels and a new short S-curl for her, and a fedora and designer jeans for him. And within a few minutes of watching them together, it’s clear there is definitely no bad blood between the two, as gossipmongers might have had us believe.

Nhlanhla starts teasing Theo the minute he walks in.

“Look how stylish you are,” she calls out

“I’m a bit nervous,” Nhlanhla admits. “Mafikizolo has been gone from the scene for so long and I don’t know what will come out when we get into the studio. We need to come back with the right sound and show that we’ve grown – we can’t come back with another Ndihamba Nawe.”

Their sound has to reflect their development as artists and individuals and also suit their fans, whose numbers have grown while the band was on its break.

Theo’s excitement far outweighs his nervousness. “It’s like going back home to the rural areas after being a way for a long time,” he says happily. “You can’t wait to see all your aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, and visiting all the familiar places that make you who you are. I can’t wait for the new opportunities and challenges that will come this time around.”

On a more personal note, both Theo and Nhlanhla have faced big challenges.

Read the full article in DRUM of 23 December 2010

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