WATCH: DJ Dede dances his way into people's hearts with amputed legs

By Drum Digital
29 October 2016

Dede, 19, made a random, theatrical entrance into the music scene last week

The city of Durban is known for unleashing musical surprises, and this year proved to be yet another round.

Out of nowhere, the city popped up its first ever female kwaito darling, Babes Wodumo and later saw the return of Durban’s Finest (Tira and Sox) after nearly a decade long split.

But the introduction of DJ Dede, a dance sensation with amputated legs is arguably one of Durban’s most dramatic discoveries in the city’s colourful music history.

, raising eyebrows of music lovers who had never witnessed an amputee with dance moves equating a fully legged dancer.

Already a talk of the country, Dede, in an exclusive chat with DRUM, said the reception he has received from fans has not only humbled him, but also saw him surprising himself.

“It feels like a dream. I can’t describe it,” says the teenager from Umlazi township, south of Durban.

“The way people have welcomed me is unbelievable. All over the country’s radio stations and social networks, people are talking about me. God is something else.”

Dede, whose real name is Ranetsi Mabaso,  lost both his legs in 2009 after school mates, jealous of his academic prowess, pushed him in front of a moving train with the intension of killing him.

He spent six months in hospital and was later discharged to the care of his parents, who sought the services of controversial Durban herbalist and businessman Bhaka Nzama.

“I couldn’t feel my body at all. I was numb, but King Bhaka gave me some medicine to take home. He told me to return the next day and I did. That time, I was already feeling some movements in my upper body. King Bhaka gave me another one to take home and within a few days, I started feeling my lower body too,” he recalls.

Out of excitement, he grabbed the microphone from Bhaka, who operated at the Durban centre with a crowd in view, and thanked everyone for the support.

“While I was busy thanking Bhaka and the people, I started dancing and people got excited and danced along. That’s when this whole music thing came about. Bhaka is neither my producer nor manager, but is a man who wants to see me succeed.”

Dede has teamed up with Undlovukazi Entertainment and released a single titled Ngizonenza Nje, already topping the charts at some KZN radio stations.

“What happened to me is a thing of the past now. I get sad and even cry when I think of it, but this is a new chapter in my life and I’m focusing on it.”

His attackers have both died following a car accident and a suicide in 2011 and 2015 respectively.

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