The Don of Kwaito

By Drum Digital
23 February 2012

From young kids to adults, everyone wants a piece of the township icon and his die-hard fans come running, their cellphone cameras clicking furiously.

The All-Star-clad ghetto superstar with the township swagger to match is clearly at home on the dusty Soweto streets. And he’s more than happy to chat and pose with his fans.

“These people made me who I am,” he says, signing a little girl’s T-shirt. “I’m from the ghetto so I can relate.

“Some artists think they’re bigger than the people once they make it, but these are the people who buy your music and make you famous.”

Affectionately known as The King Don Father, we meet the 44-year-old veteran musician at the informal settlement of Protea Gardens, where he obviously feels right at home.

His attitude is unexpected because with a career spanning over 25 years – and still going strong – Mandla Mofokeng is the epitome of kwaito.

Last year, after producing over 12 solo albums in his long career, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award by MetroFM for his contribution to kwaito.

Yet Mandla remains as humble as he was when he started out in Meadowlands, Soweto, in the ’80s as a backup dancer for Chicco Twala. Because of his incredible dance moves, he was nicknamed Spikiri, which remains his stage name today.

READ MORE IN DRUM MAGAZINE - 1 MARCH

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