It took an iconic line from the 2005 Grammy award-winning South African movie, Tsotsi to bring them to SA's attention.
Their lives have changed with just a one liner - “John Vuli Gate.”
It has been a long time coming for Pretoria, Mamelodi (Pheli) duo Mano Nephawe (29) and Leornard Malatji (31), who are now known to Mzansi as Mapara A Jazz hitmakers of “John Vuli Gate”.
“Honestly speaking we told ourselves that our time will come, that is why we never gave up. But then because it has been so long waiting for this, we are like, WOW!”
The song which features Ntosh Gazi & Colano has been buzzing on social media and already has a dance challenge. Some have even gone as far as comparing it to the ultimate hit song, Sister Bettina.
This is a first for the duo who have been making music since 2007. They called themselves ‘MaBen10’ because they were invading taverns and tents.
“We have always been known for the original Pitori sound, barcadi music. If you listen, that is why our piano is different, there is this rawness about it,” Man Malaya wa Tswenya.
But now they are all grown hence the name change ‘mapara’ which they loosely translate to ‘top-dog’.
The song was recorded in July, they tell us.
They got into studio with Ntosh Gazi and Colano for the first time and the chemistry was magical. “We cooked it instantly,” Mapara A Jazz say.
“It is a lifestyle, our happy place,” they say.
“It is an unforgettable line. Who can forget that punchline?”
The stars are aligning for the duo, the song even got a nod from the Scorpion Kings, DJ Maphorisa and Kabza de Small.
“We have survived all these years with the little we have made from taverns, parties in tents, where we get R1000 R2000 or R3000 at most to perform or when we host gigs entrance being R10 or R20.”
Now that not only Pitori knows them, they are looking forward to making it big. To those who are waiting to make a hit, Mapara say: “Keep on keeping on. Don’t give up because if you do give up you will not get what you want. You need to have patience and you need to love it even if you are not making money. Life in the studio is beautiful.”